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V— -' 


Mystical Marriage 


Adolph Wilbrandta 

From the German By CLARA BELL 







Dearly beloved reader, permit me to lead the 
way into a house in Berlin, across the court- yard, 
and up to the third floor, into a room in which, 
you feel at once, without any help of mine, what 
sort of a man it belongs to. If four walls covered 
with prints and photographs from the most famous 
pictures in the world — if a dozen plaster-casts 
from the antique — if bas-reliefs, statuettes, port- 
folios, fragments of carving and artistic *' proper- 
ties " of every description crowding every square 
inch of space — if the impossibility of stirring 
without doing some mischief among all this deco- 
rative lumber can suffice to prove to you that their 
owner is a dilettante in art, a single glance will be 
enough. A man so clever as I take you to be, 
will discern at the second glance that he has a 
particular predilection for Raphael's earlier Ma- 
donnas as well as for Rembrandt's etchings ; from 


which you may venture to conclude that two 
Spirits rule his mind : one which yearns for the 
tender grace of the South, while the other has the 
sombre humor of the North. 

If you will now step out on to the balcony, 
which has been very tastefully turned into a little 
garden, but from which the marauding sparrows 
and pigeons fly in positive terror the instant the 
latch of the window is touched, you may further 
infer that the absent proprietor loves flowers and 
hates birds. The image of a very eccentric per- 
sonage rises before your fancy and as you look 
into the room again and perceive that, though it 
is still early twilight, all the gas is lighted and a 
dozen tapers to boot, you understand that he has 
a passion for ample illumination. Now look at 
the chimney-piece and you will understand that 
this lover of light must be a man of strong natural 
affections ; for there — a most unaesthetical senti- 
mental break in the artistic decoration of the room 
— behold a long row of small photographs in vul- 
gar frames : worthy but utterly commonplace old 
men and old women, in garments of unfashion- 
able cut ; children with their mouths puckered up 
ready for a whimper, and held in the arms of un- 
speakably proud and plain mammas ; a few pretty 
comfortable-looking dames in caps (these, you 


think, he must have loved but they married other 
men) and lastly a few groups of young men, with 
boldly-tied cravats and a perfectly inspired growth 
of hair ; these likenesses have dedicatory inscrip- 
tions. " To his dear Master," "To his FridoHn,'* 
and so on. 

Who is this Fridolin ? One more investigating 
glance, at a calendar hanging on the door, will re- 
veal him to you. The days of the week are colored 
in turn, red, blue, and green ; only the Sundays 
are left white. Against a saint's day here and 
there you see written, in a minute professorial 
hand : " 4 to 5,'' or " % to 6.'* This settles the 
question. You are sure now that this bitter-sweet 
dilettante, who seems to love method and his fel- 
low-men and light and flowers, while he does not 
love birds, is a Professor of Art whom his devoted 
but flippant disciples call ** Fridolin," who lives in 
his favorite ideals and whom it might be very 
pleasant to know — provided one were not a 

And so, without my having had to tell you any- 
thing about him, simply and solely by the acute- 
ness of your own intuition, you have conjured up 
for yourself a fairly distinct idea of this man, and 
spared me the effort which so often makes the nar- 
rator a terror to his reader : that namely of be- 

I * 


wildering your brain with a tedious and circum- 
stantial description. 

At the same time I must warn you that you 
are in error if, made bold by success, you try to 
picture his personal appearance and embody the 
sum total of these gentle qualities in a pale and 
elegant being with thin, beardless lips, a voiceless 
smile and modest retiring manners. Yes — mis- 
taken — for you can have no idea of the trick 
Nature played him. Quite the reverse ! The 
clock is striking five and in he comes — a radiant 
creature, rather like Count Egmont with a splen- 
did light beard, and a thick Apollo-like curl on 
his forehead ; a large nose which the judicious 
stars that watched over him stayed in its growth 
at precisely the right moment ; broad shoulders 
and a deep chest. He glances round, that noble 
nose seems to scent mischief, it curls, it sniffs sus- 
piciously, and above it appears a deep and sinister 
line of command which has its duplicate over his 
gracefully twisted moustache. He shakes his wav- 
ing locks, he stamps his foot, he marches majesti- 
cally to the bell and rings so violently that the 
bell-pull curtsies to the carpet. Again he pulls — 
then he stands and waits. Who is the victim to 
his fury ? It must be dangerous to appear in the 
presence of this indignant Egmont — unless for 


the Duke of Alva himself. How came this lover 
of flowers and Madonnas to put on such a face 
and form ? Can you, most sapient of readers, 
have made some mistake ? We must wait till some 
one comes. — Dame Therese Ritter appears. 

A tall woman with a tall snow-white cap, and 
hair already turning grey, but with a remarkably 
fresh-colored, pleasant and good-humored coun- 

" You rang ?" says she, in a no less pleasant 
and good-humored voice, while she looks at him 
gently but quite composedly. 

"You found that out did you!" he retorts. 
" Yes my dear — I did ring. I rang because you 
never as long as you live will think of having 
anything done that I desire. Why has not this 
room been fumigated ? You know I hate this 
confounded smell of coal-smoke — that it makes 
me sick. — Why do you neglect me ? Why do 
you not do as I ask you ?'* 

" I do not neglect you," replied the good 
woman gently. ** I always does as you asks me ; 
and I will fumigate your room." 

" Always do — not does. Does for the third 
person do for the first," he corrected her. 

" I always do," she repeated timidly. 

"Yes — you will fumigate it now. Now — 


when it is too late. Do you know I shall have to 
go out again at once ? When you say so blandly : 
* I will fumigate your room/ does it strike you 
that I shall have to go away ?" 

" I know all about that Professor," she said 
with a satisfied smile. " And I will fumigate it 
all the same, for you are sure to come back 

" Upon my word — but you know too much 
dame Know-all. What leads your wisdom to 
conclude that I shall not go to some party when 
the lecture is over or to see some one, instead of 
coming back to this sooty stinkosphere ?" 

" Because you have not done your necktie in 
a large company knot, but in a little bow, as you 
wear it at home ; and because you have got on 
your grey satin waistcoat and you always come 
home again when you have that on." 

" What a very remarkable waistcoat ! A waist- 
coat in which I am bound to come home. And 
all my other twenty waistcoats are different. In 
those twenty I suppose I never come home at 
all !" 

Frau Ritter colored faintly and then she 
smiled. ** Of course I said it stupidly," she re- 
plied, "but you know what I mean and you 
know I am right." 


" Mark the day with red chalk — the day 
when j^ou were right ! It is a great event in your 
life. The twentieth of March — never forget it. 
Very good, then, most judicious of women — you 
will fumigate the room and I will go ; but first 
you will permit me to fumigate myself that I may 
not take the smell with which you have regaled 
me here, about with me as a souvenir. I prom- 
ised my audience to discourse of the fine arts, not 
to introduce them to foul vapors." And as he 
spoke he took up a bottle of Eau de Cologne — 
there was one on each table — and plentifully be- 
dewed his grey satin waistcoat, his shirt front, 
and the Olympian curl on his forehead. 

" Then you have no further orders ?** asked 
Frau Ritter without moving a muscle; she 
seemed used to this sort of tirade. The professor 
went close up to her with his hands behind his 
back and poking his face so close to hers that 
they almost touched he said with a dry emphasis 
on each syllable : " No — you may go now." 

She went, noiselessly and silently in her felt 
slippers. The door closed gently behind her ; the 
storm was over. The professor stood looking at 
the door ; the lines in his forehead deepened ; he 
did not seem quite satisfied that it should have 
blown over so quickly. He went to a shelf built 


into the wall of the room, took his hat and was on 
the point of putting it on; but after stepping 
across the room he set it down again on the 
piano. He glanced at the bell-rope as though 
minded to renew the unfinished contest with Frau 
Ritter ; but he caught sight of the clock and took 
his hat in his hand once more. Then, before 
opening the door he stopped to read a motto 
written on a piece of paper below the calendar. 
*^ Fridoline / Ne unquam immemor sis te philoso- 
phum esse,'' In English : " Fridolin, never forget 
at all times to behave with philosophy." 

" With philosophy," he muttered. 

The door was thrown open. He had thought 
that he . heard Frau Ritter*s step, and had com- 
posed his face to an expression of sublime Olym- 
pian calm ; but his ears had deceived him. A 
pair of noiseless slippers it is true came towards 
him, but they bore a manly form. — A tall ashy- 
pale man with grey-sandy hair, in a dark grey 
dressing-gown. His shoulders were as narrow 
and sloping as the professor's were broad and 
square ; his long hair was stroked away behind 
his ears, his dim grey eyes, with their dreamy 
outlook, had a twilight effect under the projecting 
brows. This lank personage said nothing; he 
only nodded to the other but he came towards 


him with a few heavy shuffling steps and held out 
a large hand. 

The professor took it in equal silence, and then 
stooped to pick up a little leather case which his 
visitor's dressing-gown had swept off one of the 
tables as he slouched across the room. 

" Again — have I . . . ?'* asked the tall man 
with a look of dismay. 

*' Yes, again. — This little case. For the sixth 
time my dear brother." 

" Oh dear !— Broken ?" 

" No. Leather cases do not break." 

" This luckless room ! — Must the leather case 
lie just there ?" 

"Yes, it must." 
The tall man looked at the case ; then he 

** With your leave," he said, " I cannot help 
remarking that I cannot imagine what you want 
it for." 

** There is a higher need for things, my dear 
Philip, than for mere commonplace daily use." 

" But this case," continued the other, " is not 
a gentleman's case, so far as I can discover." 

" No — it is a lady's case." 

" Then what can you want it for ?" 


** I have it near me. I can see it. It is a 

*' A souvenir !" said the tall man in a softened 
voice ; and he said no more. He fixed his eyes 
dreamily on the pocket-book — through it — be- 
yond it — into a remote distance. Then he 
slowly closed them, as though to suppress and 
hide the feeling they might betray. At last he 
took it up and nodded to it with a slow melan- 
choly gesture, as though the *' souvenir" con- 
cerned him, and then he waved it up and down at 
arm's length. The professor did not disturb him 
in his cogitations. 

'* Fridolin," he said at last, seeing that the 
professor had put on his hat and was leaving the 

"Adieu, my son — I must be off." 

*' To be sure — you must be off. I had some- 
thing to say to you." 

** It must keep till I return." 

'* When you return your young men will be 
here, your body-guard, your disciples in art, and 
then I cannot talk to you as a brother to a brother. 
One minute, Fridolin ! Have you just one min- 
ute ?" 

" I have just two to spare," said Fridolin, look- 
ing at the clock. 


. " I have reconsidered the whole question " — 
and the tall man, as he spoke, tried to laugh — ** I 
am quite sure of myself now. I shall give up the 
remainder of my leave. To-morrow morning I 
shall start — I am only a burden to you." 

"You are whatf Fridolin involuntarily 
turned back as if to hear better. " You are a born 
idiot," he added emphatically. 

" In the first place there is Judica," Brother 
Philip went on calmly in his husky matter-of-fact 
tones, while he still fidgeted with the leather case. 
" You say the child amuses you. Thank you for 
that. Yes — perhaps she is an amusing child. 
But she is a spoilt child — a motherless child. ..." 
Again he was silent, and even without looking at 
him a listener could have guessed that it was an 
inconsolable widower that spoke. 

"Well, we have found a governess for her 
— a kind of mother in one way at any rate," 
said Fridolin. 

" Then, in the second place, there would be 
the governess," Philip went on, pursuing the thread 
of his argument. " We do not even know her ; 
she might be amusing too — she might be the re- 
verse. Now you are the most devoted admirer of 
the fair sex when they — when they — well when 
you take a fancy to them ; but you hate them like 

12 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

spiders when they bore you. Shall I stay here to 
have to say the day after to-morrow : * He hates 
my Judica's governess like a spider and it is I who 
dropped the spider into his snuggery ?'* 

" For all that I must go/* said Fridolin, look- 
ing again at the clock. 

"Then, in the third place there is myself/' 
continued Philip, who was too much absorbed in 
his subject to heed any interruption. *' A wretched 
piece of humanity who has lost his little all of life 
and joy — a miserable ruin. In every way the very 
opposite to you. This very opposition interests 
and excites you, you say. Thank you for that. 
But what a heavy price you pay for that interest, 
Fridolin ! You had your roomy bachelor lodg- 
ings all to yourself, and were as comfortable as a 
Prince — now you have to sleep in your study. . ." 

** Under the protection of Apollo !" cried Fri- 
dolin, pointing to a cast of the Apollo Belvedere 
which, standing on a plinth in one corner of the 
room, towered above the bed. 

" Even before that it was always a question to 
me whether I could walk across your room with- 
out breaking the neck of one of your casts ; now, 
it is an unsolved riddle why every morning and 
every evening some fresh victim is not damaged 
or slain. And for what are you making all this 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 13 

sacrifice ? Because, as you say, you want to 
* save ' me ; because you wished to bring me for 
a change from my desolate nest ; to cheer and to 
amuse me. But you cannot save me, Fridolin. I 
am still young you say ? But you cannot cheer 
and amuse me. You will see — I am past cheer- 
ing and amusing ; there is nothing to be done for 

** I shall do both — but now I must be gone." 

** Then, in the fourth place, there is my un- 
lucky disposition to take everything seriously, to 
discuss everything, to resent all contradiction — 
you are really going? — Then I will go with 

** Put on a hat then.'' 

" Yes, I will put on my hat,'* — he went to the 
piano but instead of a hat he took up Fridolin's 
red fez, and without stirring another step, he went 
on : — " my unfortunate and incurable bad habit 
of maintaining my own opinion with the stubborn- 
ness of a mule, roughly and even rudely ; a habit 
of which you would be the last man to cure me 
because your vehemence and heat always rub me 
the wrong way. ..." 

" A quarter past five !" cried Fridolin, passing 
into the other room to get off at last. 

" This very afternoon," Philip continued, " I 

14 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

again allowed myself to be tempted into very un- 
brotherly violence ; because in this unhappy con- 
test between the Church and State you choose to 
assume that the despotism of an overbearing min- 
istry. ..." 

" An overbearing ministry ?*' cried Fridolin ; 
** my dear Philip, I could tell you things — ^bring 
confuting evidence — if it were not that I must 
go. . . . 

" What could you say that I did not disprove 
point by point this very afternoon ? What argu- 
ment could you bring to undermine the perfectly 
justifiable detestation which every man of good 
feeling and conscientious judgment, every man of 
deep and sacred convictions must feel for the 
audacious presumption of secular force. . . . ?" 

" Presumption ? Secular force ?" Fridolin re- 
turned a few steps. " Presumption ? In us ? In 
the State ? Our tolerant, humane, moderate, 
benevolent government ? Why, you clericals do 
not know it — no nor yourselves either; you 
choose to be blind, and you are blind ; there is 
nothing to be done for you ?" 

*' And pray why not ? Why is there nothing 
to be done for us ? Because we are not impressed 
by the precocious knowingness, the absurd con- 
ceit, the fussy pomposity of your superior govern- 


ment" — Fridolin, who had gone on a little way, 
stood still again. "Because we have a higher 
ideal than you, is there nothing to be done for us ? 
Because we find the interference of an omniscient 
State in Church matters absolutely unendura- 
ble. ..." 

" In what Church, and what concern of yours 
is the Church ? Because you wear a Protestant 
pastor's cassock is it any business of yours to stand 
up for the Pope and his infallibility ? — By Jupiter, 
I must go !*' He had reached the outer door, and 
Philip at the same time had shuffled into the 
second room. 

" I stand up for his infallibility ! Who dares 
to say that I stand up for the Pope's infallibility ? 
I abhor the Pope and his infallibility. I do not 
recognize him, nor acknowledge him — I have 
nothing to say to him ; and how can you be so 
absurd, so frivolous as to assert that I stand up 
for him?*' — Fridolin came back and angrily 
shook his Olympian curls in his brother's flushed 
face. He was about to speak, but Philip went on : 
" No — I have nothing to say to the Pope and 
his infallibility ; but Religion ! What does your 
State want and expect ? To educate men all by 
itself, without Religion to aid it ? Childish ! Mon- 
strous! You may patch up the world with phi- 


losophies and analyze it by chemistry, you may 
have your money swindled out of you by stock- 
brokers, or lose it by speculation — but without 
religion you are, and will remain, nothing better 
than a higher type of ape." 

" Thank you !" retorted Fridolin furiously, at 
last getting in a word. ** Then when I conceive 
of myself as you see me, reflected in the truthful 
mirror of your mind, it is merely as a higher type 
of ape ! Because I set my face against the folly 
which the arch-foes of your church want to make 
universal law, I — your brother — am a higher 
type of ape !" 

*' I regard you as an ape ? Now, did I say 
that ? How can you distort my words so ?" 

" I distort your words ? Why, did you not say 
we were all a higher type of ape ?" 

"Without religion!" 

" Without which religion ? Without your re- 
ligion — your degenerate, mechanical, artificial re- 
ligion — a religion choked in its own bog ? You 
scare away religion with your religion." 

** Good Heavens ! That I should live to hear 
such mad folly !" 

" Mad folly — you say that to me ?" 
"Certainly — to whom if not to you. Has 


any one spoken but you ? — So we scare away re- 
ligion ! And I stand up for the Pope's infallibil- 
ity ! And there is nothing to be done for us ! We 
are blind and we choose to be blind ! And all this 
I am to listen to with patience !'' 

** With patience ! You answer everything I 
say with an insult and you call that listening with 
patience ? I can only pray Heaven that I may 
never stand by when you are listening with impa- 
tience. I have only one thing more to say to you" 
— and for the seventh time he got as far as the 
door and turned round to address his brother: 
** You are driving me, and men like me, away from 
religion by your religion. I have a God — I need 
a God — I know that in His eyes I am no more 
than a humble and insignificant art-professor ; but 
your God, in whose honor you wear your black 
gown, and take off your parson's hat, and shut up 
your intolerant spirit. — He is too stupid to serve 
me for a God. You may do very well to pro- 
nounce anathemas and to play whist, but you are 
of no good when it comes to educating human 

This attack hit Pastor Philip hard. He rubbed 
his hands round and round in despair, and breathed 
hard. At last he gasped out : 

** I will try to believe Fridolin — I will believe 


— for your credit, that you have only spoken in a 
paroxysm of insanity." 

At this moment the clock on the drawers — 
an old-fashioned rococo commode, — struck half- 
past five ! 

" Gracious Heaven ! Half-past five ! And 
my lecture?" Fridolin stood as if stunned ; stood 
and listened, as if he expected the clock to strike 
once more and something different. Then he 
rushed out into the anteroom. 

Philip stared after him. He felt suddenly 
startled and alarmed without knowing wherefor. 
He heard the outer door open and slam ; then all 
was still. Then he fancied he could hear a few 
loud words, a curse or something of the kind — 
that too died away. The vehement quarrel was 
suddenly silenced. He looked round the room, 
strangely perplexed. His eye was caught by an 
old mirror, with carved figures on the frame, which 
reflected his person. He gazed with an astonished 
stare at the face which gazed at him with an as- 
tonished stare — a flushed face, that gradually 
grew paler. Those glaring eyes, those pale shaven 
lips, that tall lank form in a dressing-gown dis- 
turbed him greatly. He started violently when 
suddenly a harsh voice croaked out behind 
hign : 


" Fridoline ! Ne unquam immenior sis te phi- 
losophum esseT 

" Who is there ?" he involuntarily asked. 

" Who is there ?" echoed the voice, and then 
there was a loud strange laugh. 

Philip now recognized the philosophical coun- 
sellor who had shrieked at him from a cage in a 
corner of the room ; a red-tailed parrot, Fridolin's 
only friend in the world of birds, the " Professor 
extraordinary '* as Fridolin's pupils were wont to 
call him. He sat on his gilt perch and cocked his 
head to look at the pastor ; his sharp round eyes 
seemed to say that he was laughing at him as he 

Philip, instead of laughing — his melancholy 
soul was incapable of thinking even of a smile at 
this moment — cast a bewildered glance at the un- 
canny bird ; then he escaped, almost swiftly, 
through the door and back into his brother's study 
There he stood still. He picked up the leather 
case, which he had again knocked down, and as 
he held it in his hand it reminded him of the er- 
rand that had originally brought him there. He 
had come to relieve his brotherly feelings, to ex- 
press, once for all, his sentiments as to Fridolin's 
generosity, self-sacrifice, unwearied sympathy and 

kindliness ; to give utterance to his gratitude and 

2 * 


heartfelt acknowledgments; and at the same time 
to apologize to his brother for the temper he had 
shown in the earlier part of the day. " This was 
what I came for," thought he — and he sighed. 
**But I did not do it — I did not do it." 

Philip went to the door in great perturbation 
and shut it. Then he wandered about the room 
"melancholy, slow," from the piano to the desk, the 
bookcase to the portfolio stand, among the arm- 
chairs and tables, till at last he dropped into a 
carved chair in front of the writing-table; he 
found a sheet of paper — note-paper, with Frido- 
lin's monogram — took a carved ivory pen-holder, 
and began to write : 

" My dear Brother. 

" I have once more proved beyond 
a doubt that I am a burden to you, and one too 
many in your household. Nay, I have myself 
given the proof If the existence of a man whose 
nature is gloomy, whose life is darkened, who has 
not even the gift of seeming amiable, and who, 
from that unlucky predisposition we have already 
mentioned, cannot endure contradiction, but is al- 
ways led into unbrotherly wrath — if the existence 
of such a man at all is simply superfluous, we 
need trouble ourselves for no further proofs. To- 

FRIDOLIN'S mystical marriage. 21 

morrow, therefore, I, with Judica — Providence 
must have some specially chastening end in view 
in giving her such a father! — I, with Judica, will 
leave your hospitable roof and return to spend the 
remainder of my holiday in my own home. May 
God reward you — better than I ever can — for 
all your kindness and affection ; I only pray that 
He may some day prove to you by the course of 
historical events, that I am right, and that religion 
will be inevitably wrecked against the despotism 
of an arbitrary and materialistic Government. 

" Your unhappy Brother 

*' Philip." 

When he had done writing he sighed ; then 
he folded up the note, sealed it, and addressed it : 
" For Fridolin ;" after which he left by the way 
he had come. 



Professor Fridolin — for I propose to re- 
tain the name which his friends had given him, 
and which all the world took leave to call him by 
— Professor Fridolin had established a custom of 
inviting his favorite pupils from the three schools 
where he delivered lectures on art, one evening in 
the week, and showing them hospitality within 
the " rules of the house'* — rules which by one 
and another unwritten compact and compromise 
had become a fixed law in Frau Ritter's mind. 
But as, during the last year or two, he had got 
into a habit of working all the evening and late 
into the night, and as he would not give up either 
the regular invitation nor his sacred hours of 
study, he had hit upon a plan for combining them ; 
his boys — his " body-guard" as they were com- 
monly called — found their supper laid in the 
parrot's room, while he sat in his sanctum, read- 
ing and writing. It would have been sheer sacri- 
lege to disturb him there, but it was their privi- 
lege to be as noisy and merry as they pleased 
within the limits of " dignified sobriety ;" and 


from time to time the master would put his head 
in at the door to cast some jest among them, or 
to moderate some transcendental and aesthetic 
squabble by a few words of rational commonplace 
that brought it down from the clouds again. 

Five of them, that evening, about an hour 
and a half after Philip had written his doleful 
letter, climbed up the three flights of stairs to 
Fridolin's " sky parlor,** rousing the echoes of the 
house with a vehement debate on the superiority 
of painting to sculpture. They rang ; Frau Ritter 
herself opened the door and received them with a 
smile. It was the kindly, motherly smile with 
which she always greeted the body-guard — past 
and present alike — for, although the ruling idea 
of her life was a feeling of reverence for Professor 
Fridolin, whom she regarded as the most wonder- 
ful man on earth, she herself had gained too much 
power over him and too much dignity as his 
housekeeper, not to look down with a slight touch 
of maternal superiority on the lads whose father 
in the spirit he was. Besides, her self-respect 
was founded on three pillars which no shock 
could affect : First, the time when she was young 
— oh ! distant time — when she was admired by 
painters and sculptors, and had gone — with an 
order to the pit — to be fired with enthusiasm for 


Ludwig Devrient's* inspired acting; next her 
nearest relations, the children of a "scholard" 
brother ; a nephew — the second pillar, and a 
niece — the third. Of these two young persons 
she had predicted so much that was great and 
promising that the professor had finally decided on 
engaging the niece — though he had never seen 
her — to come, on probation, as governess to 
Judica then and there. 

Since the day when this decision had been an- 
nounced to Frau Ritter in solemn conclave — in 
the presence, that is to say, of the pastor and his 
little girl — her smile had increased in motherly 
dignity, or so the body-guard declared ; and to- 
day had risen to the zenith of maternal import- 
ance, for this very evening the niece of all her 
hopes was to join the expectant household. 

'* Good evening. Aunt Ritter,*' — she was every- 
one's aunt — said the foremost of the five, as he 
hung his overcoat which he had already pulled 
off, on one of the pegs of the cloak-stand which 
narrowed the anteroom. " Is the professor come 
in from lecture ?" 

" I have fumigated his room," replied Frau 
Ritter, " and have had his fire laid with wood ; but 
he is not come in yet." 

* A famous German actor some years since. 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 25 

" You grow handsomer and more queenly 
every day, Aunt Ritter/' said the next comer, who 
was the shorfSst ; and he kissed her hand with 
overwhelming gallantry. She gave him a little 
slap on the hand in which he had taken hers. 

" Well, you will never grow to be anything 
but what you are, and the best they can make of 
you will be professor of oddities." 

" Is there hot or cold meat for supper this 
evening. Aunt Ritter ?" asked a third. " It is the 
great day you know, the day when your niece is 
to arrive." 

" Is she pretty, that niece of yours ?" said the 
former speaker, who bore the character among his 
companions of being the Don Juan of the body- 
guard — " Frivolin" they called him. 

" Does she sing ?" asked another. 

" Is her beauty picturesque or statuesque ?" 
asked the fifth and he laughed ; for he had the 
happy, and very common peculiarity of always 
laughing at his own wit. 

" Yes — what is her style of architecture ?" 
added the first. 

** You are a Godless crew ; and the cold meat 
is burning," retorted Frau Ritter ; and she van- 
ished with her soft heavy tread in the direction of 
the kitchen. 


The young men, laughing and talking, went 
into the parrot's room, where the table was al- 
ready laid. The "professor extraordinary" or 
" Pittacus the wise" — as they had dubbed this 
very respectable Psittacus erithacus — sat hunched 
on his topmost perch with his eyes shut, appar- 
ently asleep. From the adjoining room — Frido- 
lin's sanctum — a sort of song was audible, a 
hoarse vague concatenation of sounds hardly to 
be called a tune — a distorted echo of a well- 
known air by Schubert. The body-guard lis- 

" Can that be Father Philippus ?" asked one in 
a whisper. 

"No — those are not the sepulchral tones of 
the reverend Father," replied Frivolin. " No pas- 
tor could ever sing so much out of tune. This is 
a natural phenomenon that must be investigated." 
And he opened the door. 

On Fridolin's bed, outside the Turkish rug 
that covered it, a young man lay stretching his 
long legs with an astounding air of intimacy; 
between his fingers he flourished a smoking cig- 
arette, while he hummed his melancholy ditty. 
A black hat, which he had not taken off, covered 
his forehead and eyes ; nothing was to be seen of 
his face but a slightly Roman nose and the profile 


of his mouth and chin. But when he ceased 
singing his lips, unconcealed by a moustache, 
wore a singular and subtle expression of irony 
that at once betrayed the owner of the Roman 
nose as plainly as if he had been ticketed with his 
name. Little Frivolin drew himself up exclaim- 
ing : " Why — it is Leopold !'* 

The young man said not a word, but raised 
and twisted himself round till he sat on the edge 
of the bedj contemplating the five who had come 
into the room in single file like a flock of geese, 
the last man filling up the door- way. A sarcastic 
but not disagreeable smile was his only greeting, 
and some little time passed before he took off his 
hat, displaying a high and handsome forehead. 
Then he once more glanced from one to another, 
with an expression of puzzled amazement in his 
keen observant grey eyes. At last he opened 
his mouth and spake : 

" It is very odd," he said, " you all look exactly 
as you did this time twelvemonth. Good evening 
young men." 

" And are you altered ?'* said Frivolin a little 
testily. " Yes» — he is altered. Look boys, he is 
dressed in the latest fashion. He has become a 
slave to his tailor. He wears a chimney pot, and 
shiny leather boots. May I be permitted to ask, 


Leopold, whether it will occur to you to shake 
hands ?" 

"With both hands/' said Leopold smiling. 
" Sensitive youth ! I was only giving myself the 
pleasure of a few minutes study of my species — 
I am a naturalist you know. You art students 
certainly rejoice in an absolute independence of 
the fashions, and a despotic power over your 
tailors. Your intellectual neckties, the air of con- 
viction about the cut of your waistcoats — the 
same, the very same as a twelvemonth since ! 
You are more steadfast than I. Yes, yes — those 
shirt collars — audacious but noble ! Now I have 
so far yielded to the seductions of the world that 
I can bear to look like other people without a 
blush of shame. The tailor has ideas — I wear 
them — a division of labor; the modern principle. 
Well — and how are you Risotto ? * Your blue 
eyes still behold the light of day.' You still 
dwell with your ideals I see." 

The young man thus addressed was a Hun 
in stature, which had procured him the nick- 
name of Riese (giant) ; to this had been added 
the Italian augmentative otto, and rthe whole re- 
sult was Risotto a name more quaint than appro- 

Risotto blushed — it was a way he had ; and 

fridolin's .mystical marriage. 29 

said in the gentle voice which always sounded 
strange as proceeding from such a huge person : 

" I hope you have not altogether abandoned 
yours, though you no longer are one of us.*' 

" I never was one of you," replied Leopold. 
** It was only a whim that made me nibble at art 
for a year, before I set to work to digest Nature.'* 

"What away to speak of it!" said Risotto 
coloring again — : this time with indignation. " A 
yearning seeking for the Ideal — and you had it 
— you can call a whim ?" 

" I have no fancy for big words," answered 
Leopold a little drily. 

" You have not seen Fridolin ?" asked Fri- 

" No — I am waiting for him." 

" You will take supper with us here to-night ?" 

"I rather think so." 

'' As I hear," continued Frivolin with in- 
creased solemnity, '* you are a Darwinist ?" 

*' I am a Darwinist." 

"An evolutionist?" 

"An evolutionist." 

Leopold could have sworn to himself that the 
word Evolutionist was all that Frivolin knew of 
the subject ; but he suppressed an ironical smile 
and said nothing more. 


"An evolutionist," repeated Risotto in a tone 
that combined reproach and regret. ** Formerly, 
when you were with us, you took a higher — a 
philosophical view of the universe." 

" In those days I was a fool." 

There was a pause ; the five brethren of art 
looked at each other in silence. Frivolin only 
stood nodding gravely to himself and seemed to 
reserve his opinion on this heresy, from a higher 
standpoint. This uncomfortable silence was not, 
however, of long duration. First Frau Ritter and 
then Fridolin were heard on the landing. " Is that 
my dear Leopold !" he exclaimed with hearty 
feeling, as he appeared at the door, and then 
opening his arms wide, with a certain solemnity in 
spite of the delight that sparkled in his eyes, he 
declaimed : 

•' Hail fulfilment, fairest of Heaven's daughters ! 
Come and crown my fondest hopes with joy." 

Then, as Leopold came forward to meet him, 
he clasped him in his arms and kissed him — 
German fashion. 

" Welcome, thrice welcome !" he exclaimed. 
" If you are hungry or thirsty tell Frau Ritter 
what you want. But first to business, before I 


can give myself up to the pleasure of seeing you 
again. '* 

He turned to the body-guard, and taking the 
arm of the one who stood nearest to him : " You 
see that wardrobe," he said. 

" Yes, I see it* 

" It must be cleared out for Fraulein Ottilie 
Ritter, the long-expected niece. It contains ..." 

" Papers, pamphlets, and waistcoats." 

" Quite right. Well-informed young man ! 
Now, you two sucking architects are expected to 
superintend the evacuation of this structure within 
the next quarter of an hour, and to find another 
place for the evicted documents and waistcoats, 
with that keen wit for contrivance that distin- 
guishes you. 

This is the task? 
Your teacher has a right to ask. 

And he who does not earn his appetite, does 
not earn the food to appease it withal." 

The professor had not done speaking before 
the lads had stormed the wardrobe, some standing 
to reach the shelves and the others kneeling to 
empty the drawers. Fridolin beckoned Risotto, 
by whose side he himself looked small and slight, 
to come with him ; but before speaking to him he 


could not resist casting a glance of affectionate 
glee at Leopold as he exclaimed : 

** How like his mother he is ! — When did you 
reach Berlin my son ?" 

" This afternoon. '* 

" And of course you promised your mother 
you would write at once ? ' 

''Yes." • 

" And of course you have not done so." 

Leopold shook his head. 

*' At the same time you do not wish to go 
through life bereft of your mother's blessing ?" 

" Certainly not." 

'* Then proceed to earn that and your supper," 
said Fridolin, politely offering the young man his 
arm and conducting him with much ceremony to 
the writing-table. ** Here is a chair," — into 
which he gently forced him — " Here is a pen," — 
which he put into his hand — '* And here is a 
post-card — a blessed invention in this degenerate 
age ! — Now, write my compliments to her Serene 
Highness," he added with a magnificent wave of 
the hand. 

Leopold laughed and wrote. 

" Now is your turn, Risotto," said the profes- 
sor. '* I had appointed you to the honorable duty 
of meeting this much-expected niece at the sta- 


tion, and of escorting her under your gigantic pro- 
tection home to this house. Why then are you 
here, my son, and not at the railway station ?" 

" The train does not come in till nine." 

" Are you sure of that ?*' 

*' I firmly believe that it does." 

" What a beautiful syllogism of covert logic !" 
exclaimed Fridolin. "You firmly believe it — 
you firmly believe in a thing that you do not know; 
which is as much as to say that you are firmly 
certain of knowing nothing about it ! — Go, man 
of immeasurable stature and most limited capac- 
ity; put on your hat." Risotto colored deeply. 
" I firmly believe that you are too late already. 
Earn your supper while you are waiting for it ; 
and enjoy the firmest belief that it will be kept for 

" Very well, I will go at once, though really I 
firmly believe. ..." 

Leopold rose. " I have written," he said with 
a sigh of relief. 

*' Shall I take the post-card ?" asked Risotto. 

" Yes, you may take it," said Fridolin. The 
giant put out his long arm for it, but Fridolin in- 
terposed and took it out of his hand. 

" First let me ask you, my son, — when you 
are entrusted with a post-card, or a letter, with a 



view to your putting it into the nearest letter-box, 
what do you do with it ?" 

"I — I take it" 

" And then ?*' 

" I put it in my pocket.'* 

*' A fatal error. Has your pocket a memory ? 
No. Do you remember it ? No. Are you per- 
fectly certain that the letter will not remain in 
your pocket a week — a month — three months ? 
No. — Well then, what will you do with it, young 
man ? He is lost in meditation. — You will keep 
the letter in your hand till you confide it to the 
more trustworthy depths of the letter-box." 

"Very true," said Risotto. He took the post- 
card between two fingers, smiled like a big know- 
ing schoolboy who has learnt something new, and 
took himself off. 

" My dear Rudolf," said Fridolin to another of 
the lads, as he took a few printed sheets out of a 
small desk that stood by the window, " you know 
these proof-sheets?" 

" Yes — I read them for you last evening." 

" With me," corrected Frivolin. 

"And there can be no more mistakes," Rudolf 
went on, — he was the young man who laughed 
so heartily at his own jokes — " for we took infin- 
ite pains. . . " 


" Both of us/' added FrivoHn. 

" And yet/* answered the professor, " I took 
the liberty of reading these proofs through myself; 
and it grieves me to inform you that, in spite of 
your infinite painstaking, I found two misprints 
that you had overlooked. Here my children — u 
has dropped out, and here we have admonishment 
for astonishment. When I write ' To his great 
astonishment everything remained exactly as he 
had left it,' I write sense ; but if it were ' To his 
great admonishment,* the reader, I fear, might 
stigmatize it as nonsense ; therefore I have made 
so bold as to alter it to astonishment.*' 

" It is extraordinary, incredible !** said Rudolf, 
opening his eyes very wide as though that 
could remedy his oversight. " And we, both of 
us. . . .** 

" I do not think I did look through that page," 
interrupted Frivolin. 

"Yes you did; that very page,** said Rudolf 

" You need not quarrel over it, silly boys. The 
one who tries to evade the blame only deserves it 
for something else. Why do I ask you to read 
through my proofs ? Are you ever likely to earn 
your bread by doing it ? No one can desire that — 
no one does desire that. Why then ? Because it 



is useful practice for your eyes and brain ; because 
it requires you to keep both eyes and mind wide 
awake at the same time. You had prided your- 
selves too much on your accuracy, so now earn 
your suppers by taking your 'admonishment' 
without too much ' astonishment' *' 

" Fridolin," cried one of the young architects 
coming away from the wardrobe with a dark green 
velvet waistcoat in his hand that he had selected 
from a whole heap of waistcoats that had been 
turned out of a drawer. 

"What now ?" asked Fridolin. 

" I have never yet fallen heir to one of your 
waistcoats. — If only you would bequeath. me this 

Fridolin looked at it with great gravity. " It 
is one of my handsomest and most carefully plan- 
ned waistcoats/' he said. " It was designed on 
the lines of a doublet." 

" I will wear it in the same spirit," said the 

" Turn it round." The architect obeyed. 

" Look inside, whether it has any name on it 

The architect examined the lining of the back. 
There is nothing here," he said. 

Very well — then so be it Take a pen and 



write your name on the lining. When I give up 
wearing this waistcoat it shall be yours." 

** Thank you very much." 

" That will do." 

The second student, who had meanwhile fin- 
ished emptying the wardrobe, now came forward 
also with a waistcoat in his hand. 

" Mr. Professor," said he, and a supplicating 
look completed the sentence. 

The professor let his gaze rest with benevolent 
satisfaction on this pupil, whose face, though far 
from handsome, was full of character and earnest- 
ness, and revealed intellectual power, perhaps even 
imaginative genius. He laid his hand kindly on 
the lad's thick brown hair. 

" Put the waistcoat away," he said, " I have 
another token of my regard in store for you 

The young man's eyes sparkled and all the 
others gathered round him as though they guessed 
what was coming. 

" The Ancients," continued the professor, with 
all his wonted dignity and grace, " the fortunate 
Greeks had many advantages over us — but we 
Germans have this one advantage over them : We 
are able, simply by our mode of address, to ex- 
press the warmth of our regard for certain men. 

38 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

To all the world I say * Sie ; * to men with whom 
I am more or less intimate I say, in moments of 
confidence, *Ikr\* to my friends I say, ^ Du'* 
Why, now, should I propose to say Thou hence- 
forth to you. Why — let me speak to the end, 
Franz — why should I grant you the brotherly 
privilege of saying Thou to me ? Because your 
nature and your noble qualities make us brothers 
— a brotherhood which I do not in the least 
recognize as an universal and congenial right of 
man ; but, on the contrary, which I regard as the 
highest result of spiritual culture and the reward 
of the noblest humanity. Give me thy hand. I 
have watched thee ; I see the right stuff in thee. 
In one thing let me be an example to thee : I 
never love a man till I have learnt to esteem him, 
and I cannot help loving a man who commands 
my esteem.'* 

Tears stood in Franz's brown eyes ; he tried 
to speak but could only stammer out as he smiled : 
"Fridolin — thou..." 

Fridolin folded him in his arms and kissed his 
forehead, then, turning round, he said cheerfully : 
" Very good ; now all business is settled." 

* In German, as in Italian, the third person phiral-*.Sif — is 
used for all formal or respectful address, Inr — you — is familiar, or 
even contemptuous. Du — thou — implies affectionate intimacy. 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 39 

Little Frivolin was however standing before 
him, evidently with some purpose in view to 
which he dared not give utterance. He looked 
significantly, first at the professor and then at the 
newly-elected Brother, smiled a doubtful smile — 
but spoke not. 

The professor raised his brows, as much as to 
imply that he had guessed the hope that moved 
Frivolin. He too stood for a moment, looking at 
him without speaking. The expression of ill- 
assured audacity and slightly defiant self-confi- 
dence which gradually overspread the lad's face 
like a rising mist, seemed to amuse him. At 
length he said : " I think we may assume; my 
son, that I have already guessed what you are 
silently asking of me. Do you think yourself 
that you are worthy of the same favor as I have 
shown this boy ?" and he pointed to Franz. 

Little Frivolin threw an involuntary and some- 
what contemptuous glance at Franz, and, as in- 
voluntarily, drew himself up a little. 

" I believe," he said, " that I am not apt to 
rate myself too highly ; but I cannot see why I 
should feel myself unworthy to be just as near 
and dear to you as our friend Franz." 

" You think so ?" said the professor with whim- 
sical gravity. " What says Hamlet, my son : 


* Use every man after his desert, and who should 
escape whipping?' — And what say I, enlarging 
on the text : * Use every man after his own esti- 
mation and who would not be certain of a fortune 
and a crown of honor ?' Frivolin, I will only say 
this much — and when I have said it I will leave 
you all for an hour, for I want to have a walk and 
a talk with this returned prodigal" — he meant 
Leopold — " under the trees in the park. — Frivo- 
lin, you are a man of many gifts. You are per- 
haps the cleverest of all the coming men who 
have rallied round my banner, from our three 
colleges. But you have sometimes too great a 
belief in yourself, and too little belief in our great 
ideals. I have watched you too. I see in you 
three gods which you worship : Success, Women, 
and Money. My son, Art speaks to you through 
me, her minister ; and she says : Thou shalt have 
no other gods but me ! If you mean to become 
a great artist, write the words of another great 
artist on your door*' — he pointed to the phil- 
osophical motto on his own : 

'* Art only have I loved, 
Art only have I served 
Through many years. 
But arts I have despised, 
Truth only have I prized ; 
And thus, and therefore, I can have no fears." 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 41 

The professor declaimed the last lines with true 
dramatic pathos and gesture. Then he took his 
hat, nodded to Leopold to follow him, and went 
to the door. On the threshold he paused and 
looked back at Frivolin, who was struggling with 
his mixed feelings and his indignant blushes. 

" With regard to Franz and the brotherly //«," 
he added, and Frivolin looked up — "I can only- 
say to you, my son : Your hour is not yet come." 



It was March. After a hard winter the 
weather had become suddenly mild, and it had 
now remained in this benevolent mood for no less 
than three weeks. Every one had forgotten — 
as is every one's way — that Berlin is one of 
the capitals of the sub-arctic zone; every one 
thought that Spring was master of the situation 
and was ready to believe in some nutation of the 
earth's axis that might result in a cycle of mild 
winters; and the peculiarly northern feeling of 
settled calm and happy resignation to winter, was 
fast breaking up and giving way to the eager un- 
rest which comes with the spring. This evening 
of the twentieth of March was even milder and 
softer and more summer-like than its predecessors 
had been, with a warm breeze and rosy-tinted 
clouds. When Fridolin and Leopold got out into 
the street the moon, almost full, was high in the 
clear vault, lighting up the slow trains of cloud, 
which a fanciful eye might have taken for an end- 
less crowd of birds of passage winging their way 
homewards. Following in their track the two 

fridolin's mistical marriage. 43 

then crossed the Potsdamer Platz, and loitered 
along the quiet Bellevue Strasse into the Thier- 
Garten, where even the leafless trees could not 
altogether chill their spring-like feeling. The air 
was so soft that they could imagine it full of the 
fragrance of sprouting leaves and earlyViolets, and 
of the busy bustle of birds. Fridolin had taken his 
companion's arm and had begun to hum a tune ; 
Leopold did not sing with him, but he did not in- 
terrupt him. Thus they had spoken but little 
when they found themselves by the ornamental 
water, opposite " Rousseau's Island.'* There they 
paused ; a dreamy vein of feeling had come over 
Fridolin and seemed to hold him spell-bound. 
He leaned against a tree, and the moonlight fell 
on his soft black hat — with its artistic fold in the 
middle, and on his still handsome features. The 
lines on his forehead had almost disappeared un- 
der his softened and sentimental mood ; his blue 
eyes had a womanly tenderness of expression, and 
their light was as clear and calm as the moon itself 
Leopold fixed a penetrating gaze on the master 
and stood still likewise, without moving or speak- 
ing. There was a subtly ironical smile on his lips 
as he watched Fridolin ; but he left him to his 
dreams and did not disturb him. 

" In such a night," Fridolin began at last. 


*' In such a night I was a nightingale 
And piped and trilled unutterable love 1" 

" In such a night/* said Leopold in his soft 
bass, "I crossed to the island, skating, with a 
lady in a fur muflf, and loved and was beloved." 

" My 'dear fellow," replied Fridolin sadly, 
** your youthful arrogance is, alas, fully justified — 
for you are young, but I am old." 

Leopold smiled. " You are forty and I am 
two and twenty. When I am forty I will 
not * pipe unutterable love ; ' I will put all the 
youngsters of two and twenty to shame by my 
successes. I will drive them to despair — send 
them crazy." 

" Do you think so ? — It seems to me that dur- 
ing the year since we parted, you, 'a favorite of 
Fortune have grown more triumphant, more sure 
of yourself than ever. You are handsomer, that 
is certain ; and you have ripened, you have gained 
in savoir-faire and in importance. You, like your 
letters, are five and twenty at least. If I were 
your mother I should be proud of my son. But 
— as I am only your friend — and only a year 
ago was still your master — I may venture to re- 
mind you, my son, that you are still but an under- 
graduate in life." 

** You might as reasonably tell this tree that it 


is but a tree,** laughed Leopold. " How and whea 
should I cecise to remember that I am but a fresh- 
man in experience ? If I did not live to learn I 
should cease to live." 

Fridolin nodded approval. " There you speak 
a true word,** he said. " And if you feel that, I 
can better bear to see you leaping onwards. And 
how long do you expect to remain a freshman ?**' 

" I will tell you what I propose, Fridolin, and 
then you can laugh at me. I have made up my 
mind to be my own physician at five and twenty,, 
to have gained my moral experience at thirty, and 
to be master of my profession at five and thirty.** 

" Of your profession as a seeker, a student of 
Nature ?'* 

'' Yes.*' 

Fridolin sighed with whimsical sentimentality. 
" While I, at forty am not my own physician, have 
not finished my moral training, and have not mas- 
tered my profession ! I am utterly incomplete — 
incapable of completion.** 

" You are incapable of contentment ?** said 

Fridolin shook his head. " My dear fellow, do 
not try to comfort me. In one thing perhaps my 
education is finished — more finished than with 
you youngsters — in self-knowledge. Neither false 

46 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

pride, nor false shame need hinder me from telling 
you, a lad of two and twenty, my own opinion of 
myself Why should it ? To Risotto and Frivo- 
lin I am the Master, the superior man whom they 
must respect ; but to you, who one of these days 
will rise far above and beyond me — you need not 
disclaim — to you I may show my bare and shirt- 
less self What sort of a self? What is my self 
after all ? I know not ; no one knows. I am a 
man without a centre of gravity. Why do I do 
this or that ? Why did I become what I am rather 
than anything else ? No one can tell. I believe 
I might have been anything — and nothing ; that 
is the tragical riddle of my existence." Leopold 

" What are you laughing at ?" 

"At the effect the spring atmosphere has upon 
your temperament. This warm evening broods 
upon your brain like a sitting hen and hatches the 
eggs of your melancholy mood. What are you ? 
You are the Original that the Almighty tried to 
make you — and he succeeded perfectly." 

"An original — stuff! without any centre of 
gravity ! An original incapable of originality. I 
teach and know nothing ; I write and have no style; 
how often has your precocity, your Goethe-mind, 
reproached me for the want of style in my sen- 


tences ! I am a discord. A well-made man above, 
with legs too short ; a beard like Jupiter and a 
weak voice ; I have a heart that would face mar- 
tyrdom for an idea or for a friend, and yet I am 
a fidgety, comfort-loving, egotistical old' bachelor. 
Why did I become a professor of art ? I am sure 
I do not know. My physical proportions seem to 
indicate that I was meant for something quite dif- 
ferent. Look at my muscles, my suppleness, my 
nimbleness — more like a dancing master's. If all 
thfe is not enough to prove that I have missed my 
vocation, never trust the voice of nature. When- 
ever I go to a circus I feel tempted to jtand up 
and say to the audience : * Here you see a man 
who has mistaken his vocation — Nature meant me 
to be a circus- rider.'* 

Fridolin delivered this speech in such solemn 
earnest, with such dramatic emphasis, and such 
appropriate action, that Leopold was irresistibly 
compelled to burst out laughing. Fridolin's face 
showed that this result rather flattered him than 
otherwise. He did not interrupt his companion's 
laughter ; but remained in the theatrical attitude 
in which he had stood when he ended. When 
Leopold was quiet again he dropped his arms 
and added, half in fun but half in grave earnest : 
** Now confess, my friend, that such a condition of 


my organism, though laughable, is somewhat con- 

'* A circus-rider or an art professor," replied 
Leopold in the same key. " It is art all the same." 

" But h\ contradiction to nature. I must be 
an interesting phenomenon for you, as a natural- 
ist, to study. I am a living protest against the 
purposes of nature." 

" What you really are is unmarried^' said Leo- 
pold with his shrewdest laugh. " Many a man 
who seeks a centre of gravity in vain in himself, 
finds it in marriage. That was what Mother 
Nature created him for. If you would only marry, 
Fridolin, even now you might discover that you 
were never intended for a circus-rider after all." 

A shade of melancholy flitted across the pro- 
fessor's face but changed immediately to one of 
inspired excitement. 

"Well...." he said, "I will prop myself 
against my tree again and answer that suggestion 
too. Why do I not marry ? It is not yet too late 
perhaps. There may be women, younger and 
handsomer than Aunt Ritter, who would be will- 
ing to take her place. It is very true too, that old 
Aunt Ritter, worthy as she is, does not fulfil my 
fondest dreams. My position as uncle to the 
world at large does not satisfy my soul ; my work, 


my body-guard, my friends, do not satisfy me. 
I long for a complementary half; Leopold, I still 
write verses in which I crave for that complement, 
and I even take out my flute now and then and 
breathe my longings into that. Sometimes, dur- 
ing the past year, I have fancied that it was you 
that I wanted. I wrote you the most gushing 
letters. ..." 

" I never had them,*' said Leopold. 

" No, I did not send them. They lie in my 
desk and I do not intend you ever should see 
them. I am very fond of you, my boy, and re- 
joice in the sight of you — but you are not that 
complement. You are too real ; too obvious. — 
let us say too masculine. * What man hath never 
known nor dreamed' — that is the complement I 

" A feminine complement, in short," laughed 

" My dear fellow, 

• Rash youth is ever ready with a word 
That cuts as shrewdly as the razor's edge.' 

Feminine — of course. You look in my face — 
you observe my flowing beard and you say * a 
feminine complement.' Let me answer that too — 
and do not keep fidgeting from one leg to the 


Other ; stand still a little while for goodness* sake. 
Well — why do I not marry ? — Why did I fall 
in love with your pretty sister and then, when she 
married another man — dance at the wedding ? 
Why is my brother Franz the father of my sister- 
in-law Therese's children, the children that would 
have been his nephews and nieces if I had mar- 
ried Therese when I was in love with her ? Why 
have I lived to be forty and a bachelor ? Why 
shall I live to be fifty, sixty, seventy and still be 
a bachelor ? My dear Leopold because ..." He 
broke off and sank into a mysterious silence. 

" Well ?" said Leopold. 

Fridolin stepped forward and coming close up 
to the young man, stood still in front of him. 
Then, after glancing round him, though there was 
no third person to be seen — not a soul in the de- 
serted darkness — he said with affected indif- 
ference : 

" Because I have been secretly married, my 

He watched the effect of his words on Leo- 
pold's face. His shrewd intelligent countenance 
fell with such complete stupefaction that he looked 
quite idiotic for the moment. Fridolin slapped 
him on the shoulder, smiling rather ruefully. 

" Shall I tell you what you look like at this 


instant, Leo? Not like the taciturn Prince of 
Orange face to face with Egmont — as you used 
to call me; not like Goethe meeting Napoleon, 
my boy ; but for all the world like the lieutenant 
who was kept awake at night by his own stu- 

" Secretly married !" the young man said at 
last. " I do not know whether to believe a word 
of it or no." 

" My dear fellow, who dares say I believe or I 
do not believe ? Pull yourself together, Leo. The 
marriage I speak of is one that exists before the 
eyes of the world without their ever discovering 
it. . It is a natural phenomenon. A psychologi- 
cal fact" 

Leopold could not help opening his eyes 
wider than ever and Fridolin was enchanted. 
Gloating over his success and his friend's mystifi- 
cation, he coolly took out a cigar and lighted it, 
without saying another word. The air was per- 
fectly still and he puffed the smoke upwards in 
regular curves till they vanished in thin air ; then, 
after a short interval, he went on : 

" You await my explanation like a philoso- 
pher, in silence. There I know you — and I am 
pleased with it. As a reward I will spare you 
the quotation from Hamlet about 'Things in 



heaven and earth, Horatio/ though it is my duty 
and privilege to grace your existence with classi- 
cal quotations. And when I have left you long 
enough perched on the stool of expectation I, the 
art professor, can divulge to you, the student of 
nature, one of Nature's secrets.** 

" I am listening.*' 

"You are listening — 'tis well. I speak. 
What is the distinction between Nature and Art ? 
This : Art is complete in itself, once and for ever — 
Nature is for ever growing and perishing, for ever 
incomplete. Art has no infinitude. Nature has no 
limits. Well then, assuming that Nature has pro- 
duced Man as her final earthly effort. — Was he cre- 
ated a complete and finite unity ? No. There are 
as many forms and colors as there are individuals. 
The foolish outside world says: Nature created 
white men, red men, black men. Higher intelli- 
gences — you and I — say there are not white, red, 
and black — there is every hue from the whitest 
white down to the blackest black. Not a link, 
not an intermediate shade is wanting. Were it 
possible to place all the men in the world in a row 
side by side, in order of their gradations of color, 
from the Albino to the darkest Negro, the outside 
world woukl seek in vain for the interval between 
any two shades, not a break would be discovera- 


ble. Or, if he did at length so far triumph as to 
detect a slightly larger interval between two of 
them, the Great Spirit might slap him on the 
shoulder and say to him : * Step into the ranks my 
son ; it is you who supply the missing shade/ " 
Leopold could not help laughing. 

" Are you laughing at the fact ?" asked Fri- 
dolin, " or at my way of putting it ? Do you 
not admit the accuracy of my view ?" 

" I am forced to agree with you, Fridolin," 
replied Leopold. 

" Very good ; you are forced to agree. Now 

— what has Nature done for man so far as his 
sex is concerned ? If we ask the outside 
world — the sempiternally ignorant world — 
they answer : Nature made man and woman ; 
nothing more. But I ask again : Then is every 
man simply a man, and every woman simply a 
woman ? When you consider all the men of 
your acquaintance and their temperament and 
character, does it strike you that every man is 
thoroughly manly and every woman thoroughly 
womanly ? Or, on the contrary, do you not find 
singular deviations and exceptions to the normal 
type ? — He nods. How many ? A great many ? 

— He nods. Masculine women — womanish men ? 

— He nods. There is every sort of variety ? — 


He nods, he cannot help himself. It is all true. 
Well then, foolish world, let us higher intelligen- 
ces teach you that these deviations and exceptions 
are no more than the numberless intermediate 
shades and combinations of Nature's unlimited 
elements ; that here, as in the matter of color, there 
are no breaks nor gaps. If we once more place 
all the men on earth in a series, sorting them by 
the shades of difference in their natural disposi- 
tions, from the North Pole, so to speak, of stal- 
wart manliness to the South Pole of perfect 
womanhood, and if you then could cast a piercing 
glance into their souls, you would perceive, to the 
shame of your own stupid soul, that there is no 
grade of mixture lacking between the two ex- 
tremes. There are, here and there in this long 
series, some very singular beings — we will not 
call them exceptions or deviations but * transition 
forms' — and quite as many of these are men as 
are women — beings with mascuUne intellect and 
womanly feelings, or womanly gifts and masculine 
character, or a medley perhaps of all the most 
opposite qualities. These natures consequently 
look on both sides for their complementary soul, 
seeking it among men and women alike ; the mag- 
netic needle of their nature points now to the 
north-pole of manhood and now to the south-pole 


of womanhood. They indeed" — and Fridolin 
sighed — "must be objects of profound pity, for 
they seek their complementary soul and find it not. 
Do they seek it in a man ? Only the womanly 
half of their nature needs the man — not the other 
half; that is itself man. Do they seek it in a 
woman ? It is only that other half that needs the 
woman. They can never find their complement ; 
the two halves supplement each other. Thus they 
are married to themselves and live in a bond of 
mystical marriage. 

"That is the secret marriage of which I spoke/' 
added Fridolin, after a pause. 

Leopold had listened quietly, hardly moving 
even, and he neither spoke nor stirred now, but 
stood nodding thoughtfully. 

"You do not gainsay it?" asked Fridolin. 


"You admit that I — the undersigned — do live 
in such a marriage of my double self?" 

"Yes. Now you have said it — as you have 
described it — I do admit it." 

" Then you understand now why I have never 
married, and why I do not intend to marry." 

Leopold smiled a gently pathetic smile; then, 
taking Fridolin's hand: "Is it an indiscretion," he 
said, " or may I be permitted to ask whether you 


live happy together; or, I should rather say, with 

Instead of answering, the professor took Leo- 
pold's other hand, and held them both, emphati- 
cally as it were, at arm's length ; a half-humorous, 
half-tragical expression stole over his features. 

*' Why do I take your hands ?" he said pre- 
sently. "Why am I not amply satisfied with 
holding my own left hand in my own right ? 
Alas, my friend, the two halves of a man are not 
enough to satisfy each other ; only two separate 
souls can fulfil each other's needs, for Nature has 
made them so. Look at me, Leopold," and his 
voice softened, " look me in the face. Nature 
meant me for a man — look at this classic beard, 
this deep chest — a man every inch of me; you 
say I am like Count Egmont. Count Egmont 
was a favorite with women, and I share that 
amiable peculiarity. My nature is tender, my 
heart is prone to love. A charming woman makes 
me feel kindly towards her in the first hour, be- 
witches me in the second, makes a lyric poet of 
me by the end of the third. Do I think of mar- 
rying her? Oh yes, certainly. I am ready to 
fight for her against the world. What am I then 
but a man in love, ridiculously in love — that and 
nothing more ? Do I remember at such a moment 


that there is a womanly half to my nature ? I 
have entirely forgotten it. I forget that I ever 
knew it. I write verses, I love — I woo — my 
love is returned. — We will suppose that it is re- 
turned. — ^^What happens then. Do I go and say: 
Fair damsel, I love you, will you be my wife ? — 
No. But I say to myself with silent emotion how 
delightful it is to be loved. I gloat over it — re- 
joice for a few days with perfect joy; then with a 
somewhat melancholy joy, I compose some dis- 
mal verses to my love who loves me. I grow pa- 
thetic over her and am sorry for her. 

"Why? Because, meanwhile, the womanly 
half of me has come home again, as it were ; the 
womanly half to which I am already married. 
She had gone away for a little time ; now she is 
come home again; she reminds me that I belong 
to her. A struggle — divided feelings — a word- 
less quarrel — domestic chaos. Then I write some 
more verses. What do I care for my love wKo 
loves me ? To the woman within me she is an 
object of aversion and distrust ; to the man an ob- 
ject of agonizing sacrifice. For I sacrifice her — 
with much suflfering and a bitter consciousness of 
my misery — still, I give her up. The marriage 
between me and myself once more asserts its 
claims, and together we follow the abortive love 


to the grave. — And am I happy ? No my friend 
— I am not." 

Again there was a pause ; Leopold was the 
first to speak: "No — not happy; that I believe; 
but you grow calm again do you not ?" 

"Yes. I grow calm. I retire into my single 
— or double — solitude. I work, and I like my 
work — though I have missed my vocation/' he 
added laughing. " Work is peace and to live to 
oneself is also peace ; so I am not unhappy after 
all. We — I and myself — can live on very well 
together, for a time. How long ? Perhaps for 
three months, perhaps for six ; then a new vision 
rises — a fresh separation. This time perhaps it is 
the womanly half that betrays me, for all that is 
noble and manly attracts and charms me; indeed 
it is my highest happiness to talk to superior men 
and to aspiring lads, to think and dream and rave as 
they do. I feel like Socrates, the greatest of men ; 
to find and train a beautiful soul — to find beauty 
even in vulgar souls — seems to me the grandest 
task of man. I meet with a youth who particu- 
larly pleases me and I invite him to frequent my 
company. I dream of his future and one morn- 
ing I suddenly say to myself: ' The world is void 
and empty without Julius — or Fritz, as the case 
may be — I must have him near me. I educate 


him, I devote myself to him, I am never satisfied 
unless I have my eye on him. — But what should 
make me tell this to you of all men ? I loved 
you so two years ago. You know me just as I am, 
my dear fellow, for you knew me as I then 

Leopold smiled. 

"Your generous affection is a thing to be 
proud of,'* he said, "but it did not dazzle me. 
Every day I told myself to be prepared for the in- 
evitable moment of reaction." 

" Reaction, yes, that is the word,'* replied Fri- 
dolin. " At last, one day, my manly half comes 
back — where it had been wandering God only 
knows. It sees the state of affairs and laughs 
scornfully. It inspects the object of my affections 
and suggests that the weaker half of me has been 
a little taken in; that the said 'object' is far from 
perfection and has its shady side, its faults, its 
odious defects. My other half shows fight for a 
time, but at last it knocks under. This cold douche 
cools it down rapidly. My favoritism subsides 
into good-fellowship — my angel appears as a man; 
the delusion is lost, but our friendship is per- 
manent. I and myself come to an understanding, 
a little resigned and crushed perhaps but the brief 
infidelity is ove^. My dear young friend, you 


will always be warmly welcome to our common 
hearth, but you can never again rouse any jeal- 
ousies between us." 

Fridolin emphasized his harangue with so much 
appropriate dramatic action that Leopold laughed 
heartily. He felt as though the " young friend" so 
pathetically addressed must appear between the 
trees and reply to Fridolin's appeal. However, 
as no one came, though Leopold instinctively 
turned to see if he were there, he answered the 
professor: "At any rate allow me to congratulate 
you on having made it up with yourself And if 
it is any comfort to you to know it, Fridolin, you 
are at any rate an original of the first water — 
unique among your kind." 

" Unique ! My dear boy, you speak as a 
foolish outsider and not as one of the higher in- 
telligences. Unique? Believe me, there are 
thousands such as I. Many an old bachelor — of 
both sexes — many a one who is spoken of as an 
oddity, a fogey, or a scarecrow. . . Nay, many 
married folks, who live in wedlock much as a fish 
lives in sand, are like me — only a little different 
in the mixing. We come across them, wonder at 
them, laugh at them or are angry with them, 
think them singular or eccentric — but we do not 
analyze them scientifically, we do not really know 


them. Indeed, least of all do they know them- 
selves. In what am I unique? In this only: 
that I have learnt to understand myself; that I 
see and know my own hapless position in the uni- 
verse. In that I am great !" and he drew himself 
up to his full height with comic gravity. " Here 
I stand, a subject for scientific research. Study 
me, investigate me, master me ! You, to begin 
with ; you the man of science, the student of nat- 
ure; then take your stand upon me and from 
that summit look forth upon the world and seek 
the allied phenomena, try to comprehend the 
whole. I give myself up to your investigations — 
you need not thank , me, I require no thanks. 
Prove to me on the contrary the magnificent in- 
gratitude of science. Vivisect me, and with re- 
morseless disregard of my trivial individuality 
solve, through me, one of the mysteries of Nature, 
for the benefit of mankind." 

As he' ended this speech, delivering it with 
due gesture and expression, he quitted the tree, 
against which he had again been leaning, and 
turned his face towards the ruddy glow that hung 
over the city. 

" Come," he said, ** let us be going. Look at 
your watch — mine has stopped. Half past eight ! 
So late — it is time we should return to the body- 


. guard — those aspiring youths who can guess at 
me perhaps, but who do not understand me.*' 


The young men in the parrot-room had 
supped; Frau Ritter had disappeared, whither no 
one enquired; and the four companions — for 
Risotto had not yet returned — remained in their 
places, and having done eating, talked and drank 
with increased energy, after the nature and cus- 
tom of their kind, their voices waxing louder and 
louder. They had soon given up anything like a 
regular and orderly discussion, for it is a crying 
need with the youth of Germany that they should 
always all talk at once; Rudolf — who was study- 
ing as an engineer — was arguing with one of the 
young architects as to the best shape and adjust- 
ment for skates; Franz — the other architect — 
was discussing the treatment of the nude in paint- 
ing with Frivolin. But they were placed at a dis- 
advantage, at cross-corners of the large table, and 
their difficulties in explaining themselves increased 
in proportion as each increase of loudness and 


emphasis on the part of one speaker, led to a cor- 
responding crescendo on the part of all the others. 
Through the blue smoke of four cigars four heated 
and eager faces were visible, whence flowed four 
torrents of vehement speech that met and mingled 
in wild confusion in the middle of the table. Pit- 
tacus sat on his perch; the hubbub of voices 
seemed to have roused him from his slumbers; 
but still he was silent, gnawing at a visiting-card 
that Frivolin had stuck between the wires of his 
cage and restlessly turning his body from side to 

" Straps! They are quite out of date — as few 
straps as possible !'* cried Rudolf across to his 
architect. " We have been hampered long enough 
with those d — d inconvenient straps." 

"Not Leda and her swan? And pray why 
not?" It was Frivolin who spoke. "Why should 
not I paint Leda and her swan ..." 

"Because I tell you," shouted the young archi- 
tect at Rudolf, "in that way every woman must 
inevitably come to grief." 

"Well then, have your own way — Paint it." 
— Franz, leaning over towards Frivolin, was roar- 
ing at him at the top of his voice. "Paint it. But 
keep it to yourself As for exhibiting it — never. 
Not in these days — impossible !" 


"But what business have women on the ice at 
all? It is only fit for men. None but a man can 
ever skate really well — can ever make an art of 

"I deny it; a beautiful woman is a thing of 
Beauty and Beauty is the soul of Art; and I will 
exhibit it. — A hundred Ledas with a hundred 
swans; and without a rag on. My dear fellow. . ." 

" Laced boots, that is all. The only essential 
thing is laced boots. Otherwise you have no firm- 
ness, no hold.'' 

" It is degrading Art," shouted Franz. " At 
that rate it would be a desecration to put sandals 
on the feet of the Milo Venus ..." 

" Laced boots ! Stuff and nonsense. There 
is not the slightest need for them. A man who 
is good for anything can skate without laced 

" The Milo Venus ! and supposing I could put 
her on laced boots — sandals, I mean. It is im- 
possible to hear oneself speak !" growled Frivo- 

Rudolf's opponent struck the table with his 

" Then you mean to say that the man who 
skates in anything but sandals. ..." 

" Sandals ! I said laced boots." 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 65 

" Boots and sandals, sandals and boots !" cried 
Franz in despair, and as loud as he could shout. 
" If you all talk at once, there is an end to all 

"Agreement! I should never agree with 
you !** retorted Frivolin. 

" Who was talking about sandals ?'* said Ru- 

" What were you saying about laced boots ?" 
asked Franz. 

" Gentlemen, gentlemen,** roared Franz strik- 
ing the table, not with his fist but with a ruler, 
" I am going mad. Let us change places or at 
any rate let us discuss the question in a more 
rational manner.** 

** A parliamentary debate !*' cried another. 
" Mr. President, whose turn is it to speak ?'* 

" All right,** said Frivolin a little huskily, " I 
am president.** 

Rudolf shook his head doubtfully; a broad 
grin beamed on his face — a sure sign that he was 
about to make a joke. " There is a better presi- 
dent here,** he said, " who, at any rate, will remain 
at his post. I propose the Professor extraordinary, 
Pittacus the wise, as our president.** 

They all laughed — but Rudolf laughed first 
A happy thought ! Pittacus the wise, the impartial, 



should preside. " Agreed," shouted the young- 
sters unanimously. In two minutes they had 
pushed the cage, stand and all, close to the table 
and requested the parrot, with all due formalities, 
to take the chair as president of their meeting. 
They set a glass of wine before him on the table 
with some almonds and raisins on a plate. 

" What were we talking about ?'* asked Ru- 

" Leda and skating," said Franz. 

*' I beg to be allowed to speak," said Frivolin, 
who since the set-down he had received from the 
professor had been doing his best to recover his 
dignity by noisy jollity and assertiveness. " Presi- 
dent Pittacus — may I speak ?" 

The shrewd bird, who had heard many a dis- 
cussion carried on in that room, answered to the 
great delight of the young men, with the greatest 
gravity and quite appropriately: '*Your turn 

" He is a genius ; the rascal is a perfect genius!" 
cried Rudolf 

" He must be brought before the public. He 
is a scientific personage !" said the young archi- 

" Take notes ; keep a minute of everything 
uttered by Pittacus the wise," added Franz. 


fridolin's mystical marriage. 67 

Frivolin had risen and looked round him im- 
patiently. ** Assuming then/' he began, " that I 
wished to remove the sandals and so forth of the 
Milo Venus, and paint her with her swan. . . 

" What, what ? No more about sandals, 
interrupted Franz. 

" I scent a scandal. To take off her sandal 
would be a scandal,** shouted Rudolf with his 
usual laugh at his own wit. 

" Oh ! gentlemen, gentlemen, whose turn is it 
to speak ? I appeal to the president — it is my 

*' Your turn now,** repeated the parrot with his 
hoarse croak. 

"Hear, hear!** cried Frivolin. "Pittacus is 
wiser than all of us put together. It is my turn. — 
Is the Milo Venus a greater fact than Truth? 
Impossible. She is not. What do we say of Truth, 
the noblest Truth ? We call it the naked Truth. 
We like Truth to stand revealed and bare. Well 
then, if you come to me and say : Do not reveal 
this no less noble Venus, I simply strike my fist 
on the table. . . .*' 

He struck his fist on the table but Fate did 
not grant him a chance of convincing the rest of 
the party. The door opposite to him was opened, 
and a child, a little girl of six or seven, came in 



with a look of intense curiosity on her shrewd 
saucy little face. She had undone one of her 
plaits of hair which hung in a tangle over her 
shoulder and her little crimped frill was lamenta- 
bly crumpled. This queer small person, droll, 
rather attractive, hopped in and straight up to the 
table, as if she were quite at home. 

" Judica — Judica !'* exclaimed the young men. 
"Why little Judica, where have you been hiding?*' 
asked Franz. " Come and sit up at the table with 
your old friends." 

"Drink her health." 

" Give her a chair next to Pittacus." 

But Frivolin drew himself up. " Gentlemen,'* 
he said, "highly as I esteem this young lady — ' 
we are not met here to amuse ourselves with little 
girls, but to carry on a serious discussion on the 
treatment of the nude in painting. I was speak- 
V^g' ... 

" Start another subject," said Franz. "Judica 
is our honored guest ; a subject more suited to 
her understanding." 

Rudolfs face beamed in anticipation of an- 
other joke. 

" Let Judica adjudicate," he said. " She would 
be most judicious in the chair." 


" Bravo ! hear, hear ! Judica shall be our 

'* Lift her up, chair and all." 

" Allow me to observe," FrivoHn went on, and 
his voice was getting thick, " that we appointed 
Pittacus the wise to the chair. ..." 

" And now we appoint Judica the foolish," 
retorted Rudolf's stentorian tones. " Judica takes 
the chair," and the two architects echoed : " Ju- 
dica takes the chair." 

The little girl was already seated in the place 
of honor and looked down on them quite un- 

** I shall be a very nice president," she said. 
*' But do not talk any more stupid nonsense. Sing, 
and I will sing too." 

** Capital ! Singing is a capital idea," cried the 
youngest architect drumming on the table with 

Rudolf rose, and taking a withered, dusty 
wreath from the bust of a man, rather smaller 
than life, that stood on the bookcase, he crowned 
Judica with it. " Let us sing a catch," he said. 

**Yes one of your funny old catches," said 
Judica enchanted. 

** Children great and small together !" said 
Frivolin with a snort of scornful arrogance ; then 


he leaned back in his chair and drank deep in his 

The others began to sing. The ring of their 
voices had been almost washed away, but after the 
manner of lads, they let noise do duty for music. 
The catch went round, Judica joining in with a 
queer little pipe like the crowing of an unfledged 

At length Rudolf sprang up, raised his glass 
and said : " Mr. President, allow me to speak." 

" Fat Rudolf wants to speak," said Judica. 

" I am allowed to speak. — Well, I cannot help 
it, but I must sing a song — the truest and best 
that ever was written. ..." 

"Who wrote it?" asked Franz. 

"I did. — Who laughs? I wrote it, on my 
famous journey to France. That is to say, Leo- 
pold and I did together. — Where is Leopold ?" 

He looked round, suddenly surprised to find 
that Leopold was absent. 

"Leopold — he vanished," said Frivolin indif- 

"Leopold — he went out with the professor," 
said the other architect meditatively. 

Rudolf nodded, a little bewildered. 

" Very well," he said. " He is gone away. — 
He may stay away, i We wrote this song together 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 71 

over some Burgundy. It goes like this : — " And 
he began, reciting rather than singing the words, 
with comical gravity : 

•• Drink my Boys, drink, 
While good liquor is red ; 
Chink the cash, chink. 
Till you've paid for the spread. 
Long live good living 
Until a man's dead." 

" That is a very funny song," cried Judica 
clapping her hands. And then, prompted no doubt 
by the heated faces of her companions, she piped 
out in a croaking treble : 

" Long live good liquor 
Until a man's red." 

** Allow me. . . ." said Frivolin suddenly, after 
emptying another glass, and he stood up. 

" Your turn now," said Judica and the parrot 
both together. 

" If I painted the Milo swan — I mean the 
Milo Venus. ..." 

But Franz started to his feet and interrupted 

** Frivolin !" he exclaimed, and he glanced at 
the little girl. " Remember where you are and to 
whom you are speaking !" 


Frivolin however, who had been cheated of his 
speech so many times, was past warning. " If I 
paint the Milo Venus as Leda. . . ." 

" A plague on your Leda !" cried Rudolf, also 
standing up, and their fourth comrade rose too, 
protesting with outstretched hands. All four were 
on their feet ; only little Judica sat still, gazing at 
the excited party in utter astonishment. 

*' And if I painted this Milo Leda's swan " 

" Hold your tongue !" shouted Rudolf, by this 
time quite furious. 

** It would be beautiful, perfectly beautiful," 
shrieked Frivolin. But it was written in the stars 
that Frivolin was never to finish that speech. At 
this instant Franz, who had suddenly blushed 
crimson, seized him by the arm and pulled him 
round so as to face a young lady who was stand- 
ing in the middle of the room. This lady, in a 
grey travelling-dress with a black cloak and a very 
simple hat over her brown hair, seemed to have 
been standing there some minutes before they dis- 
covered her presence ; she gazed in astonishment, 
first at Judica and then at the young men, and her 
dark eyes rested on Frivolin with such an expres- 
sion that he felt perfectly bewildered as they 
pierced the mists that hung over his brain. Be- 
hind her towered Risotto, loaded with umbrellas, 


rugs, and bags. He had been endeavoring to 
telegraph to his companions over the young lady's 
head ; but, having no hand free, he had been re- 
duced to making hideous and wonderful — but 
quite ineffectual — grimaces. 

" The Niece," whispered Franz. Rudolf nodded 
in some confusion, and repeated : " The Niece." 

" Here we are then, Fraulein Ritter !" said 
Risotto with his good-humored smile, to break the 
sudden and embarrassing silence. 

"Yes — here we are," repeated the new-comer 
with equal good humor and a very pleasant voice 
and she looked round the room. The bottles 
and glasses, the heated lads, their remarkable dis- 
cussion, and little Judica in the midst with the 
dusty wreath of laurel on her head ; the parrot, 
who now suddenly began to talk — the whole ex- 
traordinary scene completely bewildered her. She 
looked at the doors, as though she expected and 
hoped to see some one enter who looked fit to be 
trusted. However, as no one came she turned to 
Franz, who looked as if he were making up his 
mind to address her, and stood twitching at his 

" Excuse me, gentlemen," she said in some 
confusion : " Does the Professor really live here, 
or not, after all?" 


** Oh, yes ; he lives here/' replied Franz. ** Oh 
yes, certainly !" 

** Certainly he lives here,'* confirmed Risotto. 

" Then he is not at home, it would seem," said 
the young lady with a critical glanceat the com- 

" I am sorry to say he is gone out," said 
Franz ; and Rudolf stepped forward with the same 
statement : 

" He is gone out." 

"With Leopold," added the younger architect; 
and then he blushed, reflecting that the young 
lady could not know who Leopold was. 

" And the Herr Professor's brother ?" asked 
the lady. 

The young men could only shrug their shoul- 

" No one even knows where he is," said Ris- 
otto in explanation. 

" And Frau Ritter — my aunt?" 

" Is she not in the kitchen ?" Sisked Rudolf. 

Risotto opened the door which led, through a 
small room, into the kitchen, looked in, and 
shook his head. 

" She is not in the kitchen," he said: 

" Then she has disappeared too," said Franz. 


"Yes, she has disappeared," repeated the 
other architect. 

'* And left no trace," added Rudolf. 

The young lady could not help exclaiming : 
" How very extraordinary !" Her brown eyes 
looked anxiously from one to the other and she 
clenched her fists in their grey gloves — evidently 
from extreme annoyance. She went to the win- 
dow and looked out, then she looked at the 
young men again ; but an expression between 
laughing and crying came over her bright intelli- 
gent face when she observed that the party had 
already diminished by half Frivolin had van- 
ished without uttering a word ; Risotto, under 
pretext of putting down the young lady's small 
luggage, had followed him; and the younger 
architect was in the act of slipping off behind 
Risotto. Laughter won the day on the girl's face ; 
she set her back with mock heroism against the 
window, crossed her arms, and seemed prepared 
to wait patiently for whatever might happen. 

" If I could be of any use to you. ..." said 
Franz after a long pause. 

" Thank you," she said. " I want nothing." 

"A chair " 

" Not even a chair; I can stand here." 

Little Judica had slipped off her seat and v 


Standing in the middle of the room staring fixedly 
at her future governess as being a not uninterest- 
ing, though somewhat unpleasing, apparition. She 
did not speak nor stir till the sound of shuffling 
steps coming from the kitchen diverted her atten- 

" Thank God !" she exclaimed with a little 
sigh. " Here is my papa." 

" Ah !" cried Franz. " The Herr Pastor." 

" The Professor's brother," added Rudolf, in a 
reassuring tone. 

The pastor came in, not as before, wrapped in 
his dingy grey gown, but dressed to go out, with 
his hat in his hand, his expression as anxious 
and desponding as though he were a lost soul 
going forth to meet his judge ; nor did it detract 
from his forlorn appearance that his coat-collar 
was only half turned down and the clasp stuck up. 
His long hair was all unkempt and tumbling over 
his ears ; his whole aspect slovenly and uncared- 
for. The sight of the young lady standing by the 
window completed his discomfiture ; he gazed at 
her with a sort of desperation, and made as though 
he would beat a prompt retreat but that resolution 
failed him. 

" I say," whispered Rudolf to Franz, " we 
might sneak off now." 

fridolin's mystical marriage. ^^ 

** Yes, let us go." 

The new-comer might have fancied that she 
had been dreaming ; the uproarious party of body- 
guards had vanished so noiselessly. Nothing re- 
mained but the empty bottles and glasses, the 
parrot, Judica, and now — like a new personage 
in her dream — the queer figure of Pastor Philip. 

" Fraulein Ritter, I believe," said he uneasily. 

"Just so," she replied, bowing slightly. 

" The governess, — my daughter's governess?" 

" I have that honor." 

The hapless pastor, who for choice would have 
spent the evening in a desert, and who had never 
in his life been called upon to do the honors to a 
young lady in his own house, replied — for the 
sake of saying something — : *' You have — yes — 
you have that honor. That is to say ..." 

'' That is to say . . . ?" she asked, greatly as- 

** I meant to say," he stammered, waving his 
hat vaguely in the air, " I am leaving early to- 
morrow morning; I and my daughter..." he 
looked for Judica ; but the child was gone. She 
had slipped out after the body-guard. 

"You leave early to-morrow morning?" 

"With your permission, yes." 

" And I r asked the girl. 

78 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

"Yes, and you ..." replied the pastor, looking 
helplessly in her face, as though he expected her 
to reply. " It is a long and confused story," he 

" So it would seem, sir." 

"The reasons which prompt me to leave . . ." 
and he let his hat fall on the floor, but hastily 
picked it up again and clasped it closely to his 
lean body; "when you know my brother — but 
of course you do not know him." 

" No," she said, gazing at him in increased 
astonishment; she was beginning to think this 
house a very queer place. " May I be allowed to 
ask where my aunt is ?" 

" Your aunt ? Did she not meet you at the 
station ?" 

" No, certainly not." 

" How strange. How very odd ! She was 
going out ; and she asked me which station it was 
— and I told her . . ." 

" You told her ?" 

" The Stettin station." 

" Ah !" cried the girl, " then she is probably 
waiting there still." 

" Why ?" 

"Because I came by the Frankfort line, as I 
wrote to the professor, — as geography suggests." 


Pastor Philip laughed awkwardly. *' How 
strange. How very odd!" 

" Remarkably odd/' said she, with ironical 

At these words, of which he dimly felt the 
purport, the hapless pastor seemed annihilated; 
he took his hat in his other hand, and murmured, 
scarcely audibly : " Excuse me pray — business, 
— I must be going," and he made for the door. 

" I beg your pardon," cried the girl, who had 
colored deeply ; " allow me to detain you a mo- 
ment ; will you at least have the goodness to tell 
me what all this means ? I come here as I am 
desired ; I find no aunt ; no master of the house ; 
on the contrary, a sort of orgy going on ; I find 
the little girl whom I am to educate in the 
most — well, in the strangest company; and to 
crown all, I find that you — as you tell me, — 
intend to set out early to-morrow morning." 

" For reasons — which, unfortunately . . . ." 
stammered Pastor Philip. . . . 

" And at the same time you dimly give me to 
understand that I am in the way, though you 
leave me to discover why ; and when you have 
done me the favor to put me into this very awk- 
ward position, you say you must leave me !" 

" Oh no ! If you wish it I will stay ..." 

8o fridolin's mystical marriage. 

" I do not wish you to stay," said the young 
girl, blushing still more deeply, — **but on general 
grounds I do wish that you would favor me with 
some explanation of the state of affairs — that you 
would treat me in some degree as a human 
being ..." she broke off, for she heard steps, some 
one coming ; and a figure appeared in the door- 
way. She breathed a sigh of relief, and involun- 
tarily murmured : " At last here is a reasonable 




Fridolin and Leopold had almost reached 
home, when Fridolin once more came to a stand- 
still and said : 

" Well, and your love affair, my boy, the 
young lady — what was her name ?*' 

" Nothing," replied Leopold. 

" Nothing ?" 

" No. It came to nothing. She was no good.*' 

" It came to nothing ?" 

*' No. When I studied her scientifically, I dis- 
covered her to be of the genus cat ; /e/ts com- 
munis y Linnaeus.'' 

"Precocious youth. — You are much to be 
pitied, you naturalists. You sit next a girl at sup- 
per, say ; tall, slim, as fresh as a rose-bud, fair — 
we will say fair — with bright eyes, a merry laugh, 
full of fun, rosy fingered, as sweet as flowers and 
fruit. We old fellows feel our hearts leap and 
dance for joy, while you young naturalists, you 
men of science, you have no time to admire ; you 
analyze, you dissect, anatomize, vivisect. You strip 
off all her charms, one after another, as you would 



peel an onion ; then you spread out what is left, 
and you say : ' Look here ; now we can deter- 
mine her species. She is a cat. — She is a blue- 
stocking ; — she is a peacock ; I might have fallen 
in love if she had not been a peacock — but you 
see — she is neither more nor less than a peacock, 
a tedious business,' and he yawns. Then he goes 
home. He wraps himself up in flannel, — the 
doctors recommend flannel — he goes to bed, and 
dreams of writing an essay in a magazine, on 
comparative anatomy, which shall make him 
famous as the greatest naturalist of the day. When 
he gets up again, behold, he is just the same con- 
ceited goose as he was when he went to bed.'* 

" Thank you ; I am greatly obliged, I am sure/* 
said Leopold, wringing his friend's hand. 

" Well, is the description a false one ?" Leo- 
pold's answer was a good-humored smile. At last 
he said : " Perhaps it is." 

'' You think so ?" 

" Only in the last feature of the diagnosis ; he 
goes to bed, not wrapped in flannel, fuming with 
rage over his wasted evening, over the rosy-fin- 
gered maiden with her superior education and her 
shallow nature, over the disturbing results of sQjen- 
tific knowledge, over himself generally. He goes 
to bed ; he tries to sleep, but he cannot ; a maiden 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 83 

stands by his pillow and whispers in his ear. * Ah !' 
says he, 'so you are there.* And she seats her- 
self on a chair by his bed, and smiles — and then 
he is happy. ..." 

" A maiden ! Who ?" 

" My future bride, the ske of my existence." 

Fridolin opened his eyes very wide : What ! 
This young naturalist had an ideal too ! Or — per- 
haps not an ideal, but a dream of flesh and 

" At present, my dear fellow," added Leopold 
smiling, " I know neither who nor where she 
is ; neither her native land nor her parents. She 
will probably arrive through the key-hole, and go 
— straight through my head." 

" Why the boy is an idealist ; and you love 
her ?" 

" Yes. She will be the right stuff. A lovable 
woman, Fridolin ; wise and thoughtful ; self-willed 
occasionally, very pleasant to look upon. Well, there 
she sits, and we converse — and our talk is more 
to the purpose than all that has been said since 
the time of Adam and Eve. At the same time 
we are generally to the full as rational as we are 
tender, true children of our age — a rational age. 
Now and then she looks in when I am at work ; 
suddenly she is leaning over my shoulder, in her 

84 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

gentle way, and reads what I am writing with a 
look of intelligence — she often has that look — 
and then, then I am quite content ; I am at 
peace; I analyze no more." 

" And she, of course, loves you ?" 

" Yes. And this love of so perfect a creature, 
though I do not even know her name, makes me 
wonderfully happy." 

" Hm ! and if you should meet this perfect 
creature in the flesh, what then ?" 

" I shall meet her, FridoHn. I cannot doubt it. 
And when we do meet, that very day we shall tell 
each other that we were made for each other." 
To this Fridolin made no reply ; he went in- 

It was not till he had crossed the court- yard 
and reached the entrance to his sky-parlor, that he 
looked back at Leopold, who had followed him in 

" My son," said he, with an expression of the 
greatest satisfaction, " I withdraw all I said ; thank 
you ; you are as great a fool as I." 

Leopold laughed sympathetically, and they 
went upstairs together. When they reached the 
landing outside Fridolin's rooms, they heard a 
pleasant, though somewhat excited, woman's voice : 
Leopold opened the door very softly ; the voice 


seemed to attract him ; for instead of going in, he 
stood still to listen. Fridolin did the same. At 
last the feminine voice said : — ** But on general 
grounds, I should be glad if you would do me the 
favor to explain the situation." 

" Now is our time,*' said the professor, and he 
went in first. But he could not help smiling as he 
saw the profound discomfiture of his brother 
Philip, who stood all in a heap, staring through 
his long hair, which had fallen over his face. The 
young lady, on the contrary, at once recovered 
her presence of mind ; the blushes faded from her 
face, and the professor caught the flattering words : 
" At last here is a rational being.'* 

He instantly went towards her, with his most 
Egmont-like air, made her his most chivalrous 
bow, and said : 

'* Allow me, to begin with, to inform you that 
this is my house, and that I came into the world a 
year after my brother for the express purpose of 
putting everything to rights that he puts wrong. 
You, no doubt, are Fraulein Ottilie Ritter," — to 
which she bowed assent. " And, no doubt, my 
reverend brother has been doing something which 
our worldly wisdom will be required to make right 
again. Be quiet one moment, my dear Philip, I 
beg of you — one moment, — he has been telling 


you, I see, that he means to leave to-morrow. 
But he says that every Saturday ; Saturday is his 
worst day. He generally writes his sermon on 
Saturday ; — now, my dear Philip, do be quiet one 
moment — he will not leave to-morrow. We shall 
all stay here together ; your aunt will roast and 
boil; my brother will eat and drink; you will 
make a little angel of his daughter, till some day 
you hand her over to a handsome husband. 

" Pray take your things off, I see you still have 
your gloves on. Danish gloves ! — so are mine ; 
you accumulate quite a little fortune by degrees, 
by wearing only the cheap Danish kind. Have 
you had any supper ? — No ? Your smile says 
no." — ** A most charming and intelligent smile,'* 
he added to himself ** I had a horrible suspicion 
that it was so. My dear Leopold — do not wait 
to analyze this young lady, but see if you can- 
not procure her some food. Aunt Ritter — where 
on earth is Aunt Ritter ?" 

The young lady, with a glance at the pastor, 
said : " We are waiting for her." 

'' Waiting for her ?" 

** Yes, she is not come in yet. Allow me, in 
her absence, to take her duties upon myself; let 
me help to get supper ready." And as she spoke 
she disappeared through the door, behind Leopold. 


Fridolin looked after her. '* Aunt Ritter/' said 
he, ** you seem to me to have been remarkably 
happy in your choice of a niece. — But there is an 
overpowering smell of tobacco in this room ; the 
boys smoke ! — By the bye — the body-guard have 
vanished. What has become of them all ?'* He 
went to the window, threw it open to admit the 
fresh air, and repeated : 

" Philip, what has become of them ?*' 

** Happily for me, it is no business of mine to 
look after your body-guard," replied the luckless 
pastor, at last daring to speak. " I cannot tell you 
where they are ; I do not know — all I know is — 
Fridolin. ..." 

'' What now ?" 

" You say I shall not leave to-morrow. But 
you have not read my letter — my letter to you. 
It is in your room — on your writing-table." 

** No, I will read it I promise you ; and then I 
will make a match of it, and after supper we will 
use it to light the pipe of peace." 

" Then you insist on my remaining, even after 
what has passed between us ?" 

" Certainly I insist; because. . . ." He broke 
off, and gazed out of the window, into the night 

" Because. . . . ?" asked the pastor. 


Fridolin turned round ; a strange moisture 
stood in his eyes. 

"Because — because I have undertaken to 
cure you ; and your cure is not complete ; and 
because I promised my mother — your mother — 
on her death-bed that I would always look after 
you ; and because — we are both of us too old to 
behave like a couple of sulky boys." 

And he turned away, and went off to the 

" Something in me seems to strike you very 
strangely," Fraulein Ottilie was saying, as she 
busied herself with the plates and knives ; and she 
smiled at Leopold, who was standing before her 
with a large dish in both hands, ** for instead of 
doing anything rational with that dish, you are 
absorbed in contemplating me." 

The young man started as if from a dream. 
" I beg your pardon — do something with the 
dish ?" and he handed it over to the clumsy 
kitchen-maid, and again stood transfixed. ** Cer- 
tainly I am behaving like a fool !" 

" The expression is too hard," replied the girl 
with her quiet smile of subtle humor. 

" By Heaven ! You are she !" he suddenly ex- 

" I am who ?" 


" And yet you are not/' he muttered, after 
looking her so hard in the face that she colored 

" I do not understand you — four persons — 
four plates — and these small dessert knives. — 
Now, mein Herr, having made yourself so ex- 
tremely useful, you may join the gentlemen and 
leave the women's realm, the kitchen, in posses- 
sion of the women." 

" It is she !" said Leopold once more. 

" Really," she said, and she looked at him with 
some annoyance, ** I do not in the least under- 
stand you." 

" I beg your pardon. — You must think mc as 
idiotic as a schoolboy. — And yet there is a ques- 
tion — an absurd question — almost on the tip of 
my tongue." The girl looked at him doubtfully. 

*^May I ask it?" 

''Pray do." 

" Tell me — I fear — I am not he ?" 

She stared, no longer doubtful but horrified ; 
in spite of his perfectly sane and quiet demeanor 
she thought for an instant he must be mad. She 
made no reply. 

" Ah !" he said, with his soft melancholy smile, 
" I see too plainly what you think of me — tell me 
truly — you feel nothing unusual at the sight of 


me ; nothing at all ? I remind you of nothing ? 
You have nothing particular — nothing at all to 
say to me ?" 

" No," she said, and paused, ** No." 

" Thank you — that is to say — pardon me. I 
must appear to you as a madman, of course. — 
Not as an inquirer, a naturalisj, — not even as a 
rational being. — Still, if only I could tell you, — 
but I cannot. And you are so like — and then 
again you are not. No you are not." 

** What nonsense is the lad talking now ?" cried 
Fridolin, who had been standing in the door- way, 
and now came in. " I wonder what he is talking 

" So do I," said Ottilie, who had recovered her 
presence of mind, and she laughed. 

'* Fraulein Ottilie, supper is ready," said the 
professor. ** Do not wait to understand our young 
friend here, but come and be fed. — And at des- 
sert I will tell you of an idea that struck me the 
instant I saw you." 

*' Every one seems to be struck with ideas at 
the sight of me," thought the girl as she went into 
the dining-room and set the plates on the table. 

" What kind of idea ?" asked Pastor Philip, 
who had shuffled after the professor. 

" What kind of idea ? — Well, that in a week I 


shall be free ; that I had promised Judica to take 
her for a journey, as soon as we had the indis- 
pensable feminine guardian angel for her; that 
here she is; that a little tour will be the very- 
thing for you. . . .'* 

'' A tour in April ?" 

" Across the Alps ; to the Italian lakes, to the 
promised land of Italy.*' 

' ** To Italy,'* squeaked Judica's voice ; the 
child, who had crept out of the professor's room, 
clapped her hands for joy. ** Hurrah, hurrah, to 
Italy. — Aunt Ritter is coming," cried she, sud- 
denly changing her tone. 

"Yes, I hear her!" exclaimed the professor, 
going with great dignity to open the door of the 
landing. Ottilie dropped the last table-napkin 
and rushed after him. Leopold, still in the 
kitchen, gazed at her : " No, it is not she," he said 
to himself *' I really thought she was. If only 
she had been struck at the sight of me. — But she 
was not. — We are nothing to each other — Fri- 
dolin is right. I am but a fool !" 



Little Judica was standing at the open win- 
dow, and gazing dreamily, as children are wont, 
out at the clear sky. 

'* What are you thinking of, child ?'* asked 
Fraulein Ottilie, who was sitting at the other win- 
dow, with a book in her hand which she was read- 
ing with the greatest attention. *' Come here and 
tell me all you are thinking about. '* 

The child flew to her side, and kneeling down 
by her, set her two sharp little elbows on the 
young lady's lap. ** What was I thinking?'* she 
said — ** first I thought. . . ." 

" First of all do not sputter and mumble, but 
speak so distinctly that every word, every syllable, 
may be heard. And then do not scream, but feel 
your voice a little lower down in your throat. — 
Now, begin once more.'* 

*' Well, first of all I was thinking — just when 
you asked me — how strange everything is ; how 
everything has changed. Here we are, living in 
Italy, by the side of this blue lake, where every- 
thing is quite green already, and where real olive 


trees are growing on those fearfully high rocks — I 
say/' she suddenly exclaimed, '* do you know 
what I know? It is here that the rods are cut 
that they flog naughty children with ; I have tried 
them ; they do capitally." 

" That is extremely interesting. But now tell 
me what else you think so very strange.*' 

" What else ? — Well, papa is not half so cross 
as he used to be in Berlin, but is a much nicer 
papa. ..." 

" Cross is not a pretty word, my child ; you 
mean sad or gloomy." 

" Yes, that is what I mean ; — and then papa 
and Uncle Fridolin do not quarrel as they used to 
do, since you have been with us, and since we 
have been here. And then I am not at all afraid 
of you now, but love you dreadfully much — oh. 
Yes, I love you ever so much." And she sprang 
up and hugged Ottilie with such violence that the 
young lady cried out : " You cruel little monster, 
you are almost stifling me. — And you yelped out 
your love like a young puppy. Now, say it once 
more; I love you ever so much." 

" I love you ever so much," repeated the child 
in the sweetest and most affectionate tone. " As 
for puppies," she went on, fired by a new idea, 
" the landlord down-stairs has a whole family of 


dogs ; the papa is called Corbo and the mamma 
Spiega ; and they have three children, and two are 
given away. Aunt Ottilie — Uncle Fridolin can- 
not bear dogs — not any dogs ; but he can bear 
you, he likes you — very much." 

** Indeed ?" said Ottilie, smiling and color- 

** Why do you turn so red ?" asked Judica, 
whom nothing ever escaped. ** Do you know what 
he said? That you were the best governess in 
the world, and he said to me : ' Since Aunt Ottilie 
has been here, you little vagabond have become 
quite like a human creature ; mind you always do 
as she bids you.' — Aunt Ottilie, I know all the 
ten commandments, I can tell you what they all 
are ; shall I tell you the sixth ?" 

Ottilie could not help laughing at the child's 
self-sufficient innocence. " A weed sown in the 
days of the body-guard,'' thought she ; " there are 
many of them to pull up." And she took the 
little girl on her lap with an instinct of motherli- 
ness, and kissed the baby lips. 

Judica returned the caress with interest ; then 
she said: "Tell me; are all papas and uncles as 
fond of governesses as my papa and Uncle Frido- 
lin ?" 

The young lady was very near blushing again. 


** And is it not very nice to be a governess ? Shall 
I be a governess one day ?** 

** First you must learn not to be such a chatter- 
box, and not to make such faces as you do now." 

This reduced Judica to silence for a few 
minutes ; Ottilie gently stroked her face as if to 
wipe away the last grimace, and the child sat quite 
still. At length she said, as if waking from a deep 
reverie: "Aunt Ottilie." 


'* Does God know already what I shall be some 
day?" Ottilie smiled. 

" As he knows all things, my child, he must of 
course know that." 

''Yes — but. . . ." said Judica with a very 
shrewd look, " suppose he were to be mistaken. I 
daresay he thinks I shall be a mother ; but if 
people are all so fond of governesses, I would 
much rather be a governess." 

" Do you think so ?" replied Ottilie, with all 
the gravity she could command. 

" What is that piece of paper ?" she asked, as 
Judica took a scrap of paper out of her pocket 
and unfolded it. " Verses ? — where did you get 
hold of those ?" 

" That I will tell you presently," said the little 
girl slyly, " when you have read them to me ! 


Please do read them aloud ; Uncle FridoHn writes 
so very small and so queerly that I cannot make 
it out at all." Ottilie looked at the document, but 
instead of reading it aloud she read to herself — 
the following poem : 

•• Oft do I seek the shady grove 
To quell the ardor of my love. 
The nymph that guards the echo lies 
In silence till she hears my sighs 

— Love. Woe is me ; I love — 
In mockery of my mournful cries 
Echo replies : I love. 

" O ! thou, the only maid I love, 
The maid I seek where e'er I rove, 
Thy fate should be my fondest care 
If yielding to my passion's prayer 

— Love. Woe is me; I love — 
If from thy lips I might but hear 
Echo's response : — " 

** Well, are not you going to read them to 
me ?" said the little girl at last. 


" No ? Why not ?" 

'* Because they were not meant for a small 
goose to read ; you would not understand them. 
Look me in the face ; you promised you would al- 
ways tell me the truth." 

** Yes, and I always do." 


*' How did you come by this paper ? Where 
did you take it from ?'* 

" It was just lying there. . . ." 

" Where was it lying ?'* 

'* Where was it lying ? You must promise not 
to scold me then. . . .'* 

** You must make no bargains ; you have only 
to speak the truth.'* 

" Where was it lying ? Well — on Uncle 
Fridolin's writing-table; on his large portfolio. '* 

" It is his hand-writing/' thought Ottilie. '* A 
most love-lorn poem, certainly.'* 

** Well — now are you cross with me ?" 

*' My child, what would you do if some one 
came and took away your doll, or your bread and 
butter — or your picture-book — if only in fun — 
and you hunted and hunted for it and could not 
find it ? Why, you would cry and howl like a 
watch-dog. Uncle Fridolin will not howl, but he 
will be just as sorry." 

" I will take it back, ever so quickly," said 
Judica, remorsefully, and she sprang down. ** Give 
it to me quick, Aunt Ottilie." 

'* There it is," said Ottilie — but she still held 
it in her hand, while she once more glanced down 
the lines. **Oft do I seek the shady grove," — "O ! 
thou the only maid I love," — what put it into 


98 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

her head she did not know, but it suddenly struck 
her that the first letters of the lines were the same 
in both verses. First O — then T — then T again 
— and she was startled — O — ^T — T — I — L — I — E. 
— Qttilie — her own name. 

But at this stage of her reflections, the little 
girl, bent on repairing her fault, impatiently 
snatched the paper from Ottilie's grasp and flew 
off with it. 

It was no small relief to Ottilie to find herself 
alone. She could not have concealed the tell-tale 
blushes that tingled in her cheeks ; she was startled 
and deeply moved. These verses were addressed 
to her. — And by him. Love and passion ; crav- 
ing for hers. " I love.'* " If from thy lips I might 
but hear echo's response;'* — and she repeated 
this line more than once. Presently she discovered 
that something strange had come over her ; there 
was a pleasant warmth about her heart, as if all 
the blood had rushed to the spot. A gentle thrill 
vibrated through her nerves. An unwonted glow 
of vigor, of courage, of eager feeling fired her 
brain and rushed through all her limbs. She in- 
voluntarily began to sing ; in fact she was aware 
of a sort of possession. 

"Good Heavens!" thought she, "what has 
come over me ?" — A sound as of some one at the 


door brought her to her senses. To hide her burn- 
ing and radiant face she went to the window and 
looked out. 

The morning sun lay on the bare brown rock, 
climbed the steep cliffs, floated across the calm 
blue surface of the lake, which dashed in sparkling 
waves at the bottom of the hotel garden, and 
seemed to send up a fresh dewy breath to cool 
Ottilie's brow and cheeks. To the right, where the 
lake was shut in by a little bay, built round with 
houses, a carriage- road wound up the hill in zig- 
zags of dazzling whiteness. Eyes as sharp as 
Ottilie's could just discern the figure of a man in 
a green overcoat wending his way down the slope; 
and presently, by his beard, his slightly swagger- 
ing gait, and the plaid over his shoulder, she could 
identify Rim as Professor Fridolin. *' Oft do I seek 
the shady grove,*' murmured Ottilie to herself, and 
she could not help laughing for sheer content- 

" What are you laughing at ?*' asked a familiar 
hollow voice close to her ear. 

** Control yourself," said she to herself, though 
she could not help starting. " His daughter's 
governess. — Laugh again." 

She laughed again and turned round. Pastor 
Philip's tall figure filled the door- way ; he was as 

7 * 


awkward as ever, but his face wore an expression 
of confidence and contentment, though it was still 
sallow and colorless. 

" May I come in ?" he added with almost jocose 
gravity. " There you stand alone at the window, 
laughing to yourself at something. Merciful 
Heaven ! How can you have such spirits ? May 
I be allowed to ask what you are doing — and 
what made you laugh ?" 

"Blessings on a man," thought Ottilie, "who 
speaks so slowly that he gives one time to collect 
one's ideas. — I will confess to you, Herr Pastor," 
she added aloud, "a nonsensical notion entered 
my head ; and that made me laugh." 

" If I were to laugh at all the nonsense that 
comes into my head I might be laughing from 
morning till night," said the pastor, with his melan- 
choly humor. " However we need not discuss 
that — I came to speak about these flowers and 
grasses. Would you do me the favor," and he came 
a little nearer, hat in hand — and she then saw that 
he carried a bunch of flowers half hidden by the 
hat, — " would you do me the favor — as they are 
only wild flowers — April flowers — and as they 
are the first " — the worthy man's lip quivered a 
little — " the first I have cared to gather for many 
years.. I thought it would be best not to carry 


them in my warm hand, but in my hat ; so I came 
home without my hat — with the flowers in the 
hat, covered from the sun with this pocket-hand- 
kerchief — this clean pocket-handkerchief — if you 
would allow me, Fraulein Ottilie. ..." 

But she interrupted him eagerly : ** What! you 
walked bare-headed — in this broiling sun — for 
the sake of these flowers. ..." 

She forgot, however, that it was impossible to 
interrupt the pastor in the middle of a speech ; it 
was a thing no one had ever succeeded in doing. 
He waved the handkerchief, as a herald, sent to 
parley, might wave his white flag to bespeak a 
truce, and as she involuntarily ceased speaking, he 
went on : "In allowing myself, Fraulein Ottilie, 
the pleasure of laying these flowers from the shores 
of the lake, at your feet, I hope — I intend that 
they should convey to you a message — should 
plead to you for forgiveness. ..." 

" Good Heavens! I have nothing to forgive. . ." 
she exclaimed ; but he went on all the same : "for 
forgiveness — if indeed such conduct, — so clumsy 
— so senseless, can ever be altogether forgiven ; — 
I mean — I need not tell you that I mean. . . ." 

" No," said she smiling, " we both know and 
we have both forgotten." This interruption seemed 
to afford the pastor unmixed satisfaction, he was 


silent for a few minutes, and even appeared re- 
signed to sacrifice the close of his harangue ; how- 
ever, he made a last effort to finish it : "I mean 
that first evening when I received you so — awk- 
wardly, so rudely — never dreaming what a bless- 
ing I, a poor, short-sighted man, might have 
scared away from under my roof What a blessing, 
my dear young lady," — here he took her hand 
and held it. 

"What a blessing!" Ottilie could not help 
looking in his face with some emotion; though 
she thought to herself: *' His hand is at fever- 
heat." — "I did not hear you swear that evening," 
she said, " and I cannot see what special blessing 
I have brought you." 

" What special blessing ? — In the first place 
there is my Judica ; she was a neglected, misman- 
aged, half- wild creature, morally crooked — in a 
few weeks you have completely tamed her ; I see 
and wonder, but I cannot understand it. In the 
second place, there is Judica's father:" and he 
smiled, " a gloomy, tottering ruin ; you came up 
to him with your small, nimble fingers, you bring 
new materials — cheerfulness, trustfulness, human 
love," he hesitated — " womanly — womanly gen- 
tleness and grace, and patched up the ruin so skil- 
fully that it is really beginning to be fit for human 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 103 

habitation ; that men say to themselves : ' Let it 
stand a few years longer in Heaven's name ; it is 
a mere wreck, but it still holds together.* — In the 
third place there is my brother. ..." 

" I give up all idea of interrupting him," 
thought Ottilie. " There is my brother ; he was 
beginning to feel lonely, an old batchelor, fidgety, 
fractious ; — but the fresh air that you have brought 
into our narrow lives has made him young again. 
Although at the same time his vehemence and his 
violence have grown young again too, embittering 
his enmity to the church and his irritability with 

" His enmity to the church ? That I must say 
I have never discovered in the professor. . ." 

" I know you always take his part !" exclaimed 
the pastor, with an angry smile. " I know very 
well that you will defend him, and agree with him ; 
even when he speaks of the self-assertion of the 
temporal power, and its brutal attacks on the 
church, as a blessing to mankind. . ." 

" Well," said Ottilie, " perhaps in the heat of 
argument, the professor may sometimes go a little 
too far. . ." 

** Perhaps, do you say perhaps ? and some- 
times ? Allow me to tell you that my brother 
has never had a discussion without going too far ; 


and that it surprises me greatly to find you so 
tolerant of attacks on all that ought to be most 
sacred. If you. . ." he interrupted himself — "but 
I was far from wishing to have any discussion with 
you this morning ; only when you try to defend 
all his exaggerated views, and all his heresies." 

" Not his exaggerated views. . ." Ottilie threw 

"Not his exaggerated views — only his here- 
sies then !" He shook his head. " That is what 
you would imply — that you must admit. Well, 
tell him — tell this enthusiastic eulogist of a des- 
potic government, this foe of the church, whose 
part you take so warmly — tell him, I say, that he 
has never taken the trouble to study church-his- 
tory; or else he would know that the hardest 
blows dealt by a despotic government, have never 
had any other effect than to awaken men's con- 
sciences and invigorate their faith. Tell this fanatic 
for secular government that it is written in a cer- 
tain sacred book : ' Ye came out as against a thief, 
with swords and staves, for to take me . . . But all 
this was done that the scriptures of the prophets 
might be fulfilled.' Tell this man, who, as you say 
perhapSy sometimes^ goes too far, that I, thank 
God, have succeeded in bringing myself to con- 
template his intemperance with Christian forbear- 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 105 

ance, or, as he would say, with philosophy ; that 
I believe in One alone whom I will never deny, 
and that One shall incessantly speak to his con- 
science declaring : Without religion you are, and 
ever must be, merely a higher kind of ape/* 

With these words he turned away, forgetting 
his hat — in which the flowers were still lying — 
and holding his handkerchief instead of his hat, 
he left the room with long slow steps. 

'' There he goes, as usual, through the wrong 
door," thought Ottilie, as she looked after him. It 
was the door which led through her bedroom and 
so into the passage. ** It would seem that my chief 
function here is as lightning-conductor ; this is, I 
think, the fourth theological storm that has dis- 
charged itself on me instead of on the professor. — 
All right," — and she laughed, "at any rate, it 
falls harmless." 

A cheerful, rhythmical rap at the door in ana- 
pests — short, short, long ; short, short, long — 
at the door interrupted her reflections. 

*' Come in," said she, and Fridolin appeared. 
He had adopted this ceremony of knocking, though 
this room was their common sitting-room. His 
radiant and jolly face was pale as usual, though 
his walk in the sun had made him warm ; for, as 
his friends said, by an oversight of nature he was 

io6 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

incapable of a blush. Ottilie on the contrary- 
colored deeply, looking crimson by contrast. As 
far as possible she avoided looking at him ; feeling 
as though his verses must be written in his face, 
and consideration for his feelings must forbid her 
reading them there. 

** Good morning,*' was all she found to say, in 
reply to his hearty greeting. 

" Travelling in Italy certainly prolongs life," 
said Fridolin. ** To-day is the eighth Sunday of a 
week of Sundays ! Is it true, Fraulein Ottilie, 
that, as Judica tells me, you expect your brother 
here to-morrow ?" 

**Yes, on his way to Rome; with a travelling 

** Lucky fellow. — But at this moment I envy 
nobody. — ^Was not my brother with you just now ? 
Or was I mistaken in thinking that I heard him 
shuffling across the pavement of the corridor ?" 

"You were not mistaken," she replied with an 
awkward smile ; " he was here a minute ago." 

'*To hold counsel, no doubt, with you — our 
Italian dictionary, our walking grammar ? or per- 
haps to complain of me to you ? to preach an- 
other crusade against me ?" 

*' Your brother would be the last man to do 
that I should think," she answered soothingly. 


" According to your notions. You evidently re- 
gard him as a mild Nazarene ; you take him under 
your angel's wings whenever he is mentioned, and 
defend him like a mother. But when I said the 
other day that, if it were only the sixteenth cen- 
tury, he would have me, his brother, burnt alive, 
you tried to convince me that I was a malignant 
wretch and he an angel. I know, of course, that 
you and he are in league against me; you are 
ready to found a new sect who will consign all 
who do not agree with them to the monkeys' cage 
in the zoological gardens. You will have one built 
on purpose for me, and ticket me : Fridolin, the 
godless state-ape, or reasoning gorilla ; called by 
some the aesthetic baboon. Beware, he spits and 
bites. . ." 

" Well done !" said Ottilie laughing. " Now, 
is your brother wrong when he says that you ex- 
aggerate ?" 

*' There you see, you always take his part ; I 
can hardly say three words, and the whole sect 
cries out that I exaggerate. As to my being right 
on the main point, — as to my exaggeration, as 
you call it, being in fact the absolute and eternal 
truth, that is a mere trifle. — Why you are laugh- 
ing again." 

"Because it seems to me, as I told you 


yesterday, that you mistake me for your broth- 


" Mistake ? I only wish to defend myself 
against his attacks, and you, my dear lady, strike 
my weapon out of my hand ; what am I to do ? 
I pick it up again and turn on you. — Do you 
really think, Fraulein Ottilie, that a love for beauty, 
for what is right and reasonable — peaceful and 
ideal though it be, — has not its combative side ; 
a hatred, no less ideal, for all that is hostile to 
beauty and reason ? Do you think that we men 
of art and science are never to enter the lists and 
do battle in the service of the spirit of our age ? — 
Do you think Fraulein Ottilie. . ." 

'* But really and truly I have not attempted to 
contradict you ; I only ventured to say that your 
brother. . .** 

" The poor man who is so annoyed by my ex- 
aggeration, so injured by my calumnies. — Have 
the goodness to look at this newspaper ; here, on 
this page, you can see for yourself . ." 

*' Thank you, but I can believe without read- 
ing — everything. . ." 

** You believe it ? You believe that this church- 
mole, this owl-headed simpleton, is in the right ; 
this scoundrel who writes in German as his mother- 
tongue, and who, nevertheless wants to set the 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 109 

German nation at loggerheads once more — to 
burn up all German science as so much waste- 
paper — to see all German poetry destroyed as so 
much heathen abomination ? Do you subscribe 
to these views, Fraulein Ottilie ? It must be out 
of mere partisanship with my brother. . .'* 

" No, no — I do not subscribe to that. I think 
it perverse and wrong, and I am sure that the 
pastor would think so too. . ." 

*' You are sure — but of course you stand open- 
armed to defend him. — Well, you have only to 
ask him yourself; give him this newspaper; ask 
him to read this funeral sermon, as I call it, over 
Germany, and then ask him if he is really pre- 
pared to face the consequences to which such per- 
secutions must lead. Ask him whether he prefers 
to be an orthodox believer on the side of these 
carrion crows, or 'a higher kind of ape' on the side 
of culture, with lofty ideals, a glorious country, 
and free thought." 

He laid the paper on the table near her, and 
his eyes sparkled with such a light of conviction 
that she had no answer ready at the moment. 
However, Judica's voice was heard in the next 
room and the professor turned to go. 

*' Only ask him, only ask him," he repeated 
once more. "And tell him, most amiable 

no fridolin's mystical marriage. 

enemy, what I, the reasoning gorilla, have said to 

Ottilie watched him go; — he went through 
the right door — and as soon as it was closed be- 
hind him she threw herself on a chair ; she hardly 
knew whether she felt most inclined to laugh or 
to cry. She took up the newspaper in one hand, 
and the pastor's hat with the flowers in the other. 
Then she could not help laughing outright; — 
though something troubled her — she could not 
tell what. 

"Yes/' she reflected, "it is quite possible that 
I might become indispensable to them ; for since 
I have been here they have had all the pleasures 
of discussion without the discomforts of quarrel- 
ling. I serve as their man of straw; I am the 
organ in which their leading articles are made 
public. They exhaust their eloquence on me and 
go away much relieved ; they begin again on the 
old footing of daily civility and brotherly feeling. 
I really shall begin to think myself a valuable 
member of society," She rose, and a gleam of 
satirical humor crept into her smile; the verses 
came into her mind again. " O ! thou, the only 
maid I love. The maid I seek. . ." She could 
remember no more. 

"Good Heavens!" said she. "For a lover 

FRIDOLIN'S mystical marriage. Ill 

who writes verses to me, he certainly gave me a 
fine talking to. — Are you there little one ?" she 
went on, to the child who now came in. " Where 
have you been all this time ?" 

'* I put the paper back on Uncle Fridolin's 
writing-table; and then I stood looking out of the 
window; — and then. . ." 

" Well, and then ?'* 

The child had nothing more to say. " I looked 
out of window — that was all." 

** Idle little monkey. I will give you something 
to do. — You are sure you put the paper back in 
the same place ?" 

" Oh ! yes — I think so — I cannot remember 
exactly now. . ." 

*' Perhaps then,"^ said Ottilie in an undertone, 
*' I had better see to it myself . ." 

She led Judica into the professor's room, which 
looked out into the garden ; and through the open 
window they could see Fridolin, sitting in an al- 
cove by the lake. 

" Now, where is this unlucky piece of paper ?" 
she asked the child. Why did she ask ; she al- 
ready had discovered it. 

*'Here," said Judica, "and this is where I 
found it." 

" You are quite sure ?" 


"Quite sure/' 

Ottilie took it once more in her hand. The 
small neat writing seemed to please her fancy. 
Her eyes glanced down the lines and her lips 
silently followed the words. " Did he leave them 
here on purpose I wonder, that I might find them/' 
thought she, ** when I remarked the other day, in 
joke, that I could never help seeing what was 
written on any scrap of paper, however minutely, 
because my eyes are so sharp — I wonder whether 
he noticed it. . ." she was now at the last lines: 

•' If from thy lips I might but hear 
Echo's response : " 

" Did he hope I wonder, that echo would write 
in the missing words? — *I love.' How does it 
sound ? . . ." 

And she suddenly realized that she loved him. 
She raised her eyes, — and the paper dropped 
from her hand. Leopold was standing just in front 
of her on the opposite side of the table ; dressed 
in a drab travelling-suit, a bag slung over his 
shoulder, and a long-handled umbrella in his 

" Good-day to you, Fraulein," he said, quite 
composedly, in his meditative bass ! " I was look- 


ing for the professor. I hope I see you well, 
Ma'm'selle Judica." The child sprang forward to 
meet him. 

** How did you come, — so unexpectedly?** 
asked Ottilie. 

" Well, you know me at any rate, that is some- 
thing to be thankful for. — I come from Berlin. I 
was tired of Berlin; so I asked "Aunt Ritterif she 
had any message for you, and with her love and 
this travelling-bag I set out.** 

Ottilie stared at him in some astonishment. 
" Is he going to ask me again,** thought she, 
" whether he is he V 

"Pastor Philip will be delighted. . .** she stam- 
mered. ** You have come direct. . .** 

*' Yes. Like a parcel by post, so to speak.'* 

'* And my aunt is quite well ?'* 

*'Your aunt is hale and hearty; and will you 
honor me, Fraulein Ritter, by giving me your 
hand ?'* 

*' Which hand will you have? — Judica run 
and call your uncle ; tell him who is here.'* 

Judica ran off through the open window ; there 
was, however, no necessity to call Fridolin ; for at 
this instant the professor entered by the same door 
as Leopold had come in by, with a somewhat sin- 
gular following. In single file behind him marched 



Pastor Philip and the master of the hotel, — a 
merry little Italian, with a yellow face and curly 
black hair; all three carried huge bunches of 
greenery in their hands, the Italian grinning, while 
the two brothers wore an expression of comical 
gravity. When Fridolin saw Leopold he seemed 
for a moment somewhat startled ; but he instantly 
crammed his buflch of boughs into the young 
man's hand, and fetched another for himself from 
outside the door, where a heap of branches had 
been laid. Thus armed he again took the lead of 
the solemn procession, bowed with mock gravity to 
Fraulein Ottilie, and then retreated into the re- 
motest corner of the room. The others followed 
his example ; so did Leopold, who awaited the is- 
sue with philosophical calm. J udica too had seized 
a bough and closed the rear. When the professor 
had taken his place in the corner he faced about 
and addressed Ottilie : 

" Vossignoria '* he began, with a half-question- 
ing, half-superior glance at the landlord, "or Ec- 
cellenza, you yesterday expressed a regret that in 
what you were pleased to call an earthly paradise, 
certain winged demons, yclept flies, multiplied 
with a rapidity, which to us, who are conversant 
with natural history, is, I must own, not in the 
least surprising. Do you suppose that we could 

FRIDOLIN'S mystical marriage. IIS 

endure to think that life was embittered to the one 
lady of our household ? No. What then became 
our first aim and object ? That their lives should 
be embittered rather than yours. Graciously be 
pleased to regard with favor the corps of fly-hun- 
ters which I have organized, and who will make it 
their duty to watch constantly over your peace of 
mind and the comfort of your nose, beginning from 
this moment." This speech would have ended as 
solemnly as it had begun, but that a large fly at 
that very instant settled on the orator's handsome 
nose, tickling him so intolerably that he lost the 
thread of his discourse, and made a dash in the air 
with his free hand. " Confoi^nd the brute," were 
his final words. 

All five at once flourished their boughs at the 
unparliamentary intruder. The fly retreated to the 
other corner of the room ; the pastor stalked after 
it; J udica crowed with delight; the Italian pur- 
sued the buzzing foe with a storm of " maladetta ;'' 
it was a scene of chaos. At last Ottilie, covering 
her ears with her hands, fairly ran out of the 
room. The fly-hunters, however, followed her 
into the other room ; they drew up in close order 
and attacked the enemy systematically, waving 
their branches in regular volleys, so to speak, and 

driving the hostile hosts before them out of 

8 * 

ii6 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

window. At last they remained in possession of 
the field ; they flung down their boughs in a heap, 
and Judica shouted in triumph. The landlord re- 
tired, the pastor, who had been seized by a most 
unchristian spirit of persecution, followed the last 
fly into Ottilie's bedroom ; and Leopold dropped 
exhausted on to a sofa, stretching out his long legs. 

" A most absurdly unpractical proceeding," he 
exclaimed, with some asperity. 

'* All important undertakings are apt to appear 
unpractical at first," retorted Fridolin, who, no 
less out of breath had thrown himself into an arm- 
chair. '* Well, and how are you ? It was a capi- 
tal idea of yours to take us by surprise." 

" Berlin and solitude had bereft me of every, 
other, so I acted on this one ; and how are you ? 
And where are we ?" he added looking round him. 

*'In Philip's room." 

'* And what has become of Fraulein Ottilie ?" 
Before Fridolin could answer they heard some-one 
singing in the garden. Fridolin paused to listen ; 
his face beamed ; he pointed without speaking in 
the direction of the voice. 

'' She fled at our war-cry," said Leopold. 
Fridolin looked the young man in the face, but 
said nothing. Then after a few minutes silence, he 
said : 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 117 

*' Let us perfectly understand each other, my 
son. Do not let us try to circumvent each other. 
You have followed us here — if I am not mistaken, 
because you wished to see that young lady once 

'*Well," replied Leopold after a short pause, 
*' granting that it is so. . ." 

The professor sat lost in thought, and it was 
not till after a much longer silence that he said : 
** I might have known it ; it was only to be ex- 

" Need I tell you, my dear fellow," he presently 
added, " that I take the deepest interest in this af- 

*' I had in fact guessed as much," answered 
Leopold ; and he twitched his lips as though to 
smile away an expression of annoyance. " This 
fly-hunt was a form of declaration; — you fancy 
yourself in love with Fraulein Ottilie." 

'' I fancy myself — why fancy ?" 

*' Well, you know ; you are bound to yourself 
in that mystical marriage." 

Again Fridolin was silent for a while. " My 
dear Leopold," he began again, with an embar- 
rassed smile, **then you really took that nonsense 
in earnest." 

ii8 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

"What !" exclaimed Leopold aghast, and he 
started to his feet. " That nonsense ?*' 

" Yes ; — sit down, do not excite yourself. 
That rigmarole story which I told you — was a 
dream perhaps, a romance, to make you, as a 
naturalist, regard the psychological phenomena 
which I presented to you seem in some degree 
plausible. Or let us say to show you, my son, that 
I am still your master. You took my scientijfic 
rhodomontade for gospel." 

" Fridolin !'* Leopold broke in, standing in the 
middle of the room and facing him with a search- 
ing gaze : " Were you acting a farce then, or are 
you acting one now ?'* 

" That I leave it to your acumen to discover, 
my dear fellow," replied Fridolin. '' You are quite 
capable of judging for yourself" 

" Well, at any rate, you believe yourself in 
love with Fraulein Ottilie ?" 

" That question I have, at any rate, the right 
of refusing to answer. However, I think it more 
dignified to tell you truly, yes. Not that I believe 
that I love her — but that I do love her." 

<* Yes — and that she loves you ?" Leopold 
paused for an answer. 

*' You perhaps, as a young man, think it sheer 
folly that I, with forty years on my head, should 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 119 

hope to win the heart of a young girl ; and yet 
I — such as you see me here — I do hope it." 

Leopold unconsciously breathed a sigh of re- 
lief At any rate he only hoped it. " What I 
should like to ask," he said, and he stopped. 

^' Ask it." 

**You intend to marry her?" 

" I see you want to know all about it ; — yes, I 
intend to marry her — if she will have me, of 

''You will carry her off against all comers?" 

" I will try, in the only way that is worthy of 
me; with the weapons of head and heart — yes." 

Leopold took to walking up and down the room. 
He pulled out his handkerchief and wiped his 
forehead. The professor watched him, but did 
not move. At last the young man stood in front 
of him, and a keen, ironical smile curled his lips ; 
while his observant gaze was fixed on Fridolin. 
" It seems to me that you are at the stage of self- 
desertion," said he. 

''How so?" 

" I remember — do not you — that you spoke 
very much to this effect : — A charming woman 
enthralls me, I fall in love with her ; at this stage 
do I recollect that I have a feminine half? a 
womanly half to whom I am married ? No — I 


have utterly forgotten it. I forget that I ever 
knew it." 

" The other evening, in the Thier-Garten, did 
I say that ?" 

*' Yes, my memory is not a treacherous one as 
you know. ' I think I will marry her,* you went 
on, * I am over head and ears in love ; I write 
verses, I go courting. . . .' that was the substance 
of your words." 

" Indeed. — And from that you conclude. . ." 

*' That the state you described in which you 
renounce your mystical marriage, is what you are 
suffering under now ; that at this stage you do 
not know yourself*' The professor stood up. 

" And you, a boy of two and tw^ty, know me 
better than I know myself?" 

*' At this instant, yes. You wish to marry 
Fraulein Ottilie ? But you cannot marry her; it 
would be bigamy.** 

" It would be bigamy ?'* Fridolin was getting 
angry. He lost the philosophical composure he 
had hitherto preserved. He shook his Jupiter curl 
till it seemed alive. "My dear' child,** said he, 
" because I once amused myself with telling an al- 
legorical romance, which you, unfortunately, are 
too young to understand, is that a reason why I 
should not marry ? And because you happen to 


admire the lady, and have followed her from Ber- 
lin as far as Lake Garda, would it therefore be 
bigamy if I were to marry Fraulein Ottilie ? — 
Let me finish, pray — though it is the fashion of 
everyone to interrupt me — it is high time, I see 
— that I should explain myself clearly and once 
for all. If I had not made up my mind before to 
marry Fraulein Ottilie, I have now. And I am 
determined to be a model husband; to show 
young men of the next generation, you fish- 
blooded investigators and rationalists, how an 
ideaHst of the old school understands a perfect 
marriage. But above all, my good friend, I am 
determined to prove to you that I* am a free man, 
and can and will act as I please. — You my rival ! 
— You ? Very good — do your worst ! Bring your 
superior wisdom and youth against my ignorant 
middle age ; let us enter the lists in fair fight for 
the hand of Fraulein Ottilie Ritter. But do not 
for an instant imagine that I shall retire for any 
advice of yours. I loved your sister and danced 
at her wedding all the same; I loved Theresa 
Fischer, and when my brother married her I was 
his best man. But do not fancy, my good friend, 
that I shall resign Fraulein Ottilie without a strug- 
gle. Defy me — fight me — come on — and win 
if you can." 

122 FRIDOLIN'S mystical MARRIAGE. 

" Fridolin," Leopold began, but FridoHn was 
gone. He almost knocked his brother Philip down 
as he stood in the door- way, pale and dismayed ; 
but without stopping to take any notice of him, 
Fridolin rushed into his own room, leaving the 
young naturalist to reflect at his leisure on the 
phenomenon of mystical marriage. 



There was a knock. FridoHn had thrown 
himself on the sofa, and was trying to compose 
himself after this exciting scene, holding his hands 
tight over his beating heart, and planning his ac- 
tion in the immediate future, — when he heard that 
knock. He kept perfectly quiet — another knock. 
At last the visitor walked in unbidden ; it was Pas- 
tor Philip. He stooped more, he shuffled more, he 
was paler even than usual. He stole as noiselessly 
as possible up to the sofa on which Fridolin was 
reclining, and seated himself on a chair by his 

'' Excuse me for making my way in,'* he said 
very deliberately and with ominous solemnity. 

**What do you want?'* asked Fridolin, fu- 
ming inwardly. " Do you want to go away 
again ?" 

" No. it is not that. That is not what I have 
come for. Fridolin, can you spare me two 
minutes ?" 

'* Yes,'* said Fridolin in desperate resignation, 

124 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

" I heard just now, quite unintentionally, a few 
words — do not mind my voice/' — it had in fact 
begun to tremble — " it is a little weak I think, — 
I overheard a few words, which I feel I must speak 
to you about. Ottilie Ritter — you were men- 
tioning Fraulein Ottilie Ritter — I was on the way 
to my room — I was standing at the door — when 
unluckily you spoke rather loud — you often do — 
and so I heard you." 

" What did you hear ?" asked Fridolin sitting 
up ; but the pastor gently pushed him back into 
his corner. 

''You should not be in such a hurry, my dear 
brother," said he, with a melancholy smile. " I 
have something to say to you too about Fraulein 
Ottilie Ritter ; so far we are on equal terms. It 
would be, no doubt, an infidelity to the past — in 
short, Fraulein Ottilie — something has come over 
me which I never could have dreamed of I have 
come to life again. I picked a bunch of flowers 
this morning, feeling like a boy ; I joined the fly- 
hunt ; — only a fortnight ago, I should have been 
as likely to renounce my faith as to have commit- 
ted such follies. I am not yet old, you tell me. Yes, 
I am still young — fairly young. I quite feel as if I 
were young again. And, since as you say, she is 
the very best friend and example my Judica could 


have, — and as I have not the art of living alone, 
— now, pray stay just where you are, and let me 
sit here — I thought this morning, as I picked 
those flowers — I really thought, that if only she 
would, I would too. — That is what I, for my part, 
had to say to you." 

Fridolin had not been able to keep still in his 
corner ; he was standing by the table, on which 
he leaned; his eyes opening wider and wider in 
astonishment, and he solemnly shook his head in 
utter bewilderment. 

" What ! you want her too ;" he exclaimed at 
last» " everyone wants her ! — And it was to tell 
me that, to my face, that you came here ! — And 
when you overheard me mention her name, listen- 
ing at the door of your room, did you not under- 
stand what my intentions were ?" 

" I know, of course," said the pastor, — '' but 
do not speak so loud. — You would not give her 
up, I heard you say. . ." 

** No, I will not give her up, — I will never 
give her up ! Never ! Not for all the brothers in 
the world." 

" What are you talking about ? All the brothers 
in the world?. . ." interrupted the pastor; and 
his voice grew lower and hollower in proportion 
as the professor raised his. " I c'ame on purpose 


to tell you, in all brotherly confidence, the con- 
clusion I had come to about an hour ago. . .*' 

" Oh ! very good, very good ! Make your own 
arrangements ; go on pray, — do all you please — 
all you can — hinder me if you can. I make 
nothing of obstacles ; they spur me on, they stir 
up my energy, they goad me to success ! Put 
obstacles in my way, I will leap over them!'* 

" What are you storming at ? Obstacles, — to 
leap over? ..." 

" What ?" Fridolin went on. " Do you put no 
obstacles in my way when you say : * I, I love her 
too.' Are not you tearing at my very heart when 
you tell me that you cannot live alone, that she must 
remain with Judica, that she shall become your 
wife ? — But I will not resign her !'* he vehemently 
declared. " No, say no more. I will shut my ears, 
I will neither hear nor understand ; I will not lis- 
ten to another word. Talk to me no more about 
yourself; not another word about my * mystical 
marriage,* — damn the mystical marriage ! I will be 
married like other men, I will marry her, I will be 
happy, and all the obstacles in the world shall not 
prevent me !" 

" For God's sake !" Philip exclaimed, " what a 
storm ! — Fridolin — he is gone. — Fridolin ! — 
^'" *"he man ever seen in such a state of fury ? — 


I declare I am trembling all over. — * Not for all 
the brothers in the world * — am I such an inhuman 
brother that he should throw such a taunt, such a 
challenge in my teeth ? Have we lived on such 
terms that he should defy me as a foe and never 
hear — I never got so far as to tell him what my 
own idea was on the subject ; I am always too 
late. — * A mystical marriage !' — What does he 
mean with his mystical marriage ? I do not un- 
derstand. . ." 

" / put obstacles in your way for you to leap 
over? / — in return for all your affection and 
kindness ; your self-sacrifice, your brotherly care 
and helpfulness? I, who set myself up as a 
preacher of Christ's word and doctrine; I, who 
know how much better and cleverer, and superior 
in every thing you are to a creature like me ? — 
No, not I," and he spoke aloud, and, with a 
decision most unusual in him, he quitted the 

He went to his own room, meeting no one on 
his way. He locked both the doors, took a small 
portmanteau out of the corner where it stood, and, 
sighing deeply from time to time, proceeded to pack 
up his linen and books ; pausing now and again to 
collect his thoughts and consider as to what he 
would need. Much time was wasted in elaborate 

128 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

calculations and economy of space, a confirmed 
habit with him — for each time that he discovered 
that a different arrangement would secure him 
more room, he unpacked everything with a groan, 
and crammed his shirts, guide-books, stockings, 
and clerical newspapers tighter than ever. When, 
after some hours work, he had at last got it fin- 
ished and had locked the portmanteau, he opened 
it once more and with the greatest difficulty dis- 
interred paper, pens, and ink, which he had buried 
at the bottom, and wrote, in his minute stiff hand, 
the following letter : 

" My dear young lady : 

" An unexpected and, in itself quite 
unimportant circumstance, requires me to set 
out by the next omnibus that starts for Mori. 
I leave my little Judica in the charge of my 
brother and yourself Whether we shall meet 
again in Riva, or not for some time, and when and 
where, I would tell you if I could. But I cannot. 
Meanwhile accept my warmest thanks for all you 
have done for my child, and may yet do in the 
future ; and allow me to add that notwithstanding 
all I may have said to you as regarding my 
brother's hostile feelings towards the church — 
though I had a perfect right, nay it was my duty, 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 129 

to oppose him — he is in every other respect the 
noblest and most worthy soul that breathes on 
earth. Allow me to say that I, who have spent 
many hours of anxious thought over the state of 
his soul, — and I should be a wretch devoid of creed 
and conscience if I had not — that I wish him, for 
his earthly portion, every blessing, every comfort, 
every joy that his generous and loving heart can 
desire. Tell him, from me, my dear lady, that the 
difference in our views on religious or political 
subjects, or on any other, be it what it may^ can 
never prevent my sacrificing my own desires and 
interests to his ; and that I enjoy the happy con- 
viction that the love he hopes to win will certainly 
be his. 

" I will ere long let you know how and where 
I am ; I have every necessary with me in my small 
portmanteau. One of my hats — the one which 
contained the flowers that I intended solely as a 
peace offering or apology for my clumsiness at our 
first meeting — is in your room ; I do not need it, 
I have the other to travel in. This being Saturday 
the landlord will send the weekly bill ; would you 
be so good as to hand it over to my brother to 
pay. And now farewell, — and may God send you 
and my brother every good gift. 

"With the deepest respect 

I30 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

" I remain your faithful friend, 

'*The father of the child 

"You have made happy." 


Pastor Philip's letter was finished just about 
the time when Fraulein Ottilie was putting the 
last touches to the toilet in which she purposed 
appearing at their family dinner. This toilet was 
intended — for lack of verses, which she could not 
write — as in some sort an answer to Fridolin's 
poem; her coiffure, her bow, her neck-tie, her 
gown, all selected and combined in accordance 
with the professor's taste as he had occasionally 
expressed it, might in its way be equivalent to an 
acrostic ; each article representing a letter and the 
whole standing for ** Fridolin." At the same time 
a kind of bashfulness had come over her that was 
not natural to her ; she stood in front of her glass 
and could not help feeling conscious of it; but 
she resolutely put it aside, with the spirit that is 
born of any strong feeling. Might it not be a de- 
lusion after all — this idea that she was in love 
with the professor ? But, if so, why had she here 


in her hand, the tell-tale sheet of paper ? Why 
had she secretly abstracted it, and brought it away 
to her own room, and locked herself in ? And 
why did she now, dressed as she was like a posy, 
her cheeks tingling with blushes, seat herself in 
front of her desk, and, taking out a pencil-case 
which the professor had given her only the evening 
before, lay the verses on the table and gaze at the 
last line with a sigh that came from the bottom of 
her heart 

" I cannot leave it incomplete," said she to 
herself. " I will keep these lines. Why did he 
leave them out on his table if it was not that I 
might find them? — And if I keep them, I may 
just as well fill in the gap ; the two last words. 

• If from thy lips I could but hear 
Echo's response : — ' 

Well ; echo's response ? . . ." She thought no 
longer. She took up the pencil and wrote. She 
found some difficulty in writing small enough; 
but she got as far as "I lo. . ." 

** No !*' she cried, starting up, and throwing 
down the pencil. " How can I do such a thing ? 
What am I about ? Good Heavens ! what has 
come over me that I am capable of such folly ? 
I — I who am by way of teaching others!" 

A knock at the door interrupted her reflec- 



tions, and she was glad of it. She slipped the 
poem into a book that was lying on the table, laid 
some others on the top of it, so that it was at the 
bottom, and went to unlock the door. She ex- 
pected to see Judica, but to her astonishment it 
was Leopold who stood before her. — He had laid 
aside his travelling- wallet, stick, and umbrella, and 
greeted her with an almost too ceremonious bow. 

" May I be permitted to intrude on your pri- 
vacy for an instant?" said he. ** Have you a 
minute to spare ?" 

** An instant ! — a minute ! — this is somewhat 
illogical for a man," thought she. 

** Oh ! yes," she said laughing, '* my time is 
very much at your service." 

" I see you are laughing already," said Leo- 
pold with evident embarrassment. " That is of 
bad augury for me. I am fully aware of the ab- 
surd position in which I find myself. I am awk- 
ward, bewildered ; clumsy in consequence. Well, 
I would rather tell you so myself, than feel that 
you were thinking it behind my back. When I 
say it myself it seems less ridiculous, less prepos- 
terous, — so I say it myself!" 

" An excellent maxim and eminently practical," 
replied the young lady, gaily. She looked at him, 
however, with some curiosity and interest. 


" It is only natural — my awkwardness, I 
mean," he continued. '* In the first instance, at 
Berlin, I behaved to you in a perfectly idiotic 
manner ; that is on my conscience, it weighs on 
my mind. In the second place, I am, I believe, 
on the point of committing another stupid blun- 
der; and that is not an encouraging reflection. 
But I would sooner see you laugh than listening 
in such terrible earnest to what I have to say." 

Ottilie laughed. 

" You see — that first evening in Berlin, I boldly 
asserted : You are she. — And I asked you whether 
I were he, or not. Now, should I appear one whit 
less ridiculous, at this moment, if I were to ask 
you whether you ever could be- she — whether I 
ever could be he." 

*' Woe is me, she is reddening — she is angry !" 
thought he. " I have plunged into the matter too 
abruptly ; I am an utter ass !" 

''Really, mein Herr. . ." she began, but he 
stopped her. 

'* Dear lady, have one moment's patience, I 
implore you ; just one minute. It has been a 
dream — no, a revelation, — a superstition rather ; 
— I want a word, and I cannot find it ; if I could 
write verses I might be able to express my feelings; 
and I did try. I tried to make a poem about it : 


* Silent enigma, spirit of my dreams. . .* it began ; 
— but it did not do. I cannot make anything of 
it ; I am not a born poet ; I am only a naturalist ; 
the dry bones of a man ; homo formica, Linnaeus. 
The only poem I ever composed in my life con- 
sisted of six lines and three rhymes ; and even 
those were not all my own ; I was helped by my 
stalwart friend Rudolf" 

" You no doubt know them by heart," said 
Ottilie, much amused, ** if so, pray declaim them 
for my benefit." 

** Their only merit is their archaic simplicity, 
and their absolute truth." 

" But I delight in simplicity and truth ; pray 
let me hear them." Leopold waited for no fur- 
ther pressing, he repeated the verses — the same 
verses that Rudolf had sung to the worshipful 
company of the body-guards, that eventful even- 
ing at Berlin : 

" Drink my Boys, drink, 
While good liquor is red ; 
Chink the cash, chink. 
Till you've paid for the spread, 
Long live good living 
Until a man's dead." 

"A not very touching, but highly edifying 
song," said Ottilie laughing. Leopold bowed. 


" Three times since have I tried to soar to sim- 
ilar heights," he said, "but nature has exhausted 
herself, it would seem ; I have brought no second 
lion-cub into'the world." 

'* Then you must write those lines in my al- 
bum ; — will you ? Like most young ladies, — 
whether countesses, parsons* daughters, or school- 
girls, I have an album for lyric and didactic ef- 
fusions. Will you be so good. . ." 

" I shall esteem it an honor. . ." 

** Here is the album, here are pen and ink." 
And she turned over the books on her table and 
drew out one bound in black and highly gilt, 
which she laid before him. 

" My vanity forbids me to demur, for you 
might repent if I delayed," said Leopold with a 
sort of sentimental humor. " So I will proceed 
at once." — He opened the album at a blank page 
— it was by no means full — and began at the first 
words : 

" Drink my boys, drink. ..." 

"Stay," he exclaimed and he paused. 

" Well, why do you not go on ?" 

"Wait; I am polishing it," he replied mus- 
ingly. " Perhaps," thought he to himself, " I can 
bring something in that may lead up to what I am 


aiming at. Some word or hint — yes, it is com- 
ing, it is coming. — Why should we always drink 
red wine ?" 

He went on and wrote the first two lines boldly 
to the end. 

" Are you still polishing ?" asked Ottilie, 

" No," said he, and he wrote without any fur- 
ther pause to the last word; then he silently handed 
her the book, with an embarrassed and very 
anxious smile. 

*' Now let us see whether you have brought it 
to absolute perfection ?" said she, and she read : 

•• Drink my boys, drink, 
While 'tis sparkling and white. 
Give heart for heart 
If you're sure they beat right. 
Live like a man 
Till old age is in sight." 

" What is the meaning of this ?*' asked Ot- 
tilie blushing deeply. " This is another poem al- 
together. What made you write these lines 
here ?" 

Leopold felt the color mounting to his own 
face, and all his courage oozing out. 

" Forgive me," he stammered. 

"What do you mean by polishing in this 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 137 

" Now is your time/* thought Leopold, ** now 
is your time." 

He plucked up his courage and murmured : 
*' What do I mean ? — A .... a question — but for- 
give me/' he added, seeing her lip quiver. *' The 
words came to my tongue, — to my pen — do not 
be angry — my old superstition, — for really and 
truly I do believe that you are she — and a man 
is in such a desperate position when he does not 
know whether he is — or is not. . .'* 

The young lady did not seem to hear the last 
words ; a siiigular and mysterious expression 
crossed her face. Her lips were parted as if to 
speak, but her eyes were fixed on the table. When 
Leopold had handed her the album a loose sheet 
of paper had fluttered out of it, and was now lying 
upon the other books; a blank sheet, so far as 
could be seen from the side that lay uppermost. 
She stood lost in thought for a few minutes ; then, 
seating herself, she took up her pencil and began 
to write on this blank page. 

'* What . . ?'* he began ; but the sound of his 
own voice startled him and he broke off. She 
murmured something that he did not catch. Her 
pencil travelled swiftly over the paper ; stopped 
for a moment like a wheel with the break on ; 
and then went on again. Short lines appeared 


under her nimble fingers. When they were done, 
she made a wide flourish all across the bottom of 
the page, and rose and stood away from the 

" Am I to read it ?'* he asked much puzzled. 
She nodded, without meeting his eye. He went 
close behind the chair, over which he leaned to 

" She too has been ' polishing,* " thought he. 
Almost holding his breath with excitement, he 
read as follows : 

• • Drink my boys, drink, * 

Be it ruby or white, 
But only so long 
As it runs pure and bright. 
Ask not a heart 
That is giv'n to another. 
Men only live 
While they live for each other." 

He read it once, twice, a third time ; but the 
last time only with his eyes, without understand- 
ing it. He felt completely crushed. 

** I might have known it," thought he. "Those^ 
who will ask questions must be prepared for the 
answers. . ." 

A mist seemed to rise before his eyes, through 
which he still seemed to see the words : " Ask 
not a heart that is giv'n to another;" he felt over- 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 139 

whelmed by humiliation, and still more by grief. 
A sort of panic came over him ; a dread of seeing 
Ottilie's face — of hearing even the rustle of her 
dress, of being in her presence, — he stood listen- 
ing, not daring to move. But there was not a 
sound; the room was as still as the grave. 
Nothing was to be heard but the buzzing of the 
flies on the window ; and the fly-hunt, his conver- 
sation with Fridolin, his last wretched half-hour, 
— all rose before his mind in one confused jum- 
ble — he started, and involuntarily looked round 
as though Ottilie herself had touched him, •. — but 
there was no one in the room ; — she had silently 

'* What is to be done next ?*' he asked himself. 
He took up the fateful sheet of paper and turned 
it over, round and round, like an arrow in his 

" The other side was written on already," he 
said aloud in his misery, "and with poetry too." 
And he mechanically glanced at the verses on the 
reverse side. His eyes opened wider and wider ; 
he recognized Fridolin's minute writing, noticed 
the initial letters — Ottilie had underlined them 
all with her pencil - — and saw that at the end echo 
had in fact begun her reply. 

" I lo. . ." was written in Ottilie's hand. He 


was sure it was hers ; he had seen it only that 
morning in Judica*s lesson books. 

"FridoHn and Ottilie!*' he exclaimed. "Good 
Heavens ! I see it all now." 

*' What, you here ?'* it was the professor's 
voice. Fridolin, in his smartest velvet waistcoat, 
his cravat tied in a full-blown and elaborate knot 
of his own invention, known to the body-guard 
as the gordian knot, his hair and beard carefully 
combed and curled, was standing in the door- way 
He had come in search of his young friend, to 
prove that this struggle for " her " had in no way 
affected his regard for him. 

" You, in here ?" he repeated, but without be- 
traying the smallest jealousy in tone or accent. 
'* You know, I suppose, my dear fellow, that din- 
ner will be ready in less than a quarter of an 
hour ?" 

*' Your dinner will be ready ; yes, I know that/' 
answered Leopold. " As for me — but never 
mind — everything is at an end. — Read these 
verses. From you — to her, lying here — in her 
album. And her answer is written below ; read 
it. Do you want a plainer one ?" 

Fridolin had seen, had understood ; and he 
dropped the sheet of paper in sheer astonishment ; 
but he caught it again as it fluttered away. 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 141 

*' Ottilie !" he cried. Leopold marked the sur- 
prise on his face, his sudden joy ; and watched 
him closely without saying a word. 

" My dearest fellow," said the professor in the 
softest voice he could command, *' I am utterly 
dumbfounded ; this is the most startling denoue- 

" It is a revelation, at any rate, which makes 
any further enquiries quite unnecessary," replied 
Leopold with forced composure. " Well, she was 
not she. And she looked as if she were. I will 
analyze more closely for the future." 

" She was not what ?" asked Fridolin, staring 
at him. 

" Not such a simpleton as L — We need waste 
no words, Fridolin, in speech-making or congratu- 
lations or condolences. Every man must take life 
as it is dealt to him. I am going away — back to 
science. * A contribution to psychical knowledge: 
on youthful mysticism and the superstitions of 
love !' Good-bye, Fridolin ; till we meet again — 
somewhere or other." 

" Somewhere or other ? — Where do you 
mean ? Where are you going to ?" 

** Away," said Leopold, and he was gone. 



In the dining-room, which opened on to the 
garden, Ottilie was impatiently walking up and 
down. The table had been laid God knows how 
long ; the soup had been brought in and taken 
out again; and of the three gentlemen of the 
party not a sign. Once more, for the twentieth 
time perhaps, did she go to the glass door to look 
out into the garden, with a hope that she might 
discern the approach of one of the truants. She 
leaned her cheek against the pane ; she drummed 
with all her ten fingers on the frame ; all in vain. 
At length, for the twentieth time, she turned back 
into the room, and walked — like the puppets of 
a marionette theatre, which are incessantly mov- 
ing backwards or forwards — to the other end of 
the long hall. Little Judica came running in. 

" Well," asked Ottilie, " have you found your 
papa or your uncle anywhere ?'* 

"Papa? — No." 

** And your uncle ?" 

" Aunt Ottilie, is it a very naughty thing to 
listen ?" 


** What makes you ask that ?• Have you seen 
your uncle ?'* 

Judica, doubtful as to what she should answer, 
only shook her head. 

*' I have not seen him — but I heard him.'* 

'* Where r 

** In his room. Do you know what he can be 
doing there ? He was walking up and down — 
just as you are doing here. I say, Aunt Ottilie, 
if some one stands at a door and hears some one 
in the other room talking to himself, quite loud, 
and if some one listens to what he is saying — is 
it very wrong?'* 

*' What did you hear ?'* asked Ottilie uneasily, 
without answering the question of conscience. 

" At first he kept on saying : 'Ottilie, Ottilie !* 
and I thought, Aunt Ottilie, that you were up 
there with him. And then — I say, why, when 
he always used to call you Fraulein, does he call 
you Ottilie now ?*' 

" I do not know ; you are a silly little thing 
and cannot have heard distinctly — that will do ; 
now run away." 

*' Oh, that was only the beginning. — I say 
Aunt Ottilie, has every one got a mystical car- 
riage, and what is a mystical carriage ? Uncle 
Fridolin has one; he said so three times.*' 


" What nonsense you are talking ; I do not 
know what you mean/' interrupted Ottilie. 

" No more do I/' said Judica innocently. 
'* And I cannot think why he pitied you so much. 
Are you very unhappy, Aunt Ottilie? ' Poor thing, 
poor Ottilie!* he said, over and over again, and he 
seemed very miserable too, himself — but there 
was some one else he was sorry for, * Eva des 
Herzens ' he called her, or something like that ; 
and then. . ." and the child crept close to Ottilie 
and whispered in her ear, like a chicken piping 
under its mother's wing : " And then I think he 
began to cry." 

Ottilie stood puzzled and distressed. What 
could have been happening? 

" And then. Aunt Ottilie, some one came into 
the room who asked him to do something, or to 
give him something." 

" What ?" asked Ottilie involuntarily. 

" I do not know, but Uncle Fridolin would not 
do it. 'I cannot, I ought not, my fate. . .' and 
then he exclaimed : ' I make you miserable ?* — 
and then he kept saying : ' Oh ! my God !' Then 
I suppose the other man went away, for it was all 
perfectly quiet. At last I tried to open the door 
but I could not, for it was locked. Uncle Fridolin 
roared fearfully loud : * Who is there ?' And I 


was just going to run away with fright, for I 
thought he had found out that I had been listen- 
ing. Do you think, Aunt Ottilie, that he could 
have known it ?" 

" There, you see what it is to have a bad con- 
science," said Ottilie, but with an effort. " Well, 
and what did you do ?" 

'* Well, I stayed where I was, because you 
told me that I ought never to run away from peo- 
ple who will not hurt me. So I called out: Uncle 
Fridolin, why do you not come down to dinner ? 
' Run away,' he said, ' I will come presently. Only 
leave me alone.' So I came away and ran down- 

*' Then he is really coming," Ottilie murmured 
to herself *' Then he is coming," she said aloud, 
*' presently; soon." And she tried to control the 
beating of her heart. She took out her hand- 
kerchief which was wet with eau de Cologne, 
and held it to her throbbing temples and fore- 

'' I cannot understand," she said to herself, 
*' I know nothing of what it all means. It is not 
the first time in my life, however; I must wait and 
keep calm." 

Again she went to the glass door. Little 

Judica followed her. '' Aunt Ottilie," said the 

10 \ 

14^ fridolin's mystical marriage. 

child, pulling at her dress, " here is Carlo with a 
letter — a note. . ." 

Carlo, the landlord's son, was standing just 
behind Judica, with a letter in his hand. 

*' Give it me," said Ottilie, taking it from 
him. It was addressed to her — but from whom ? 
She dismissed the lad and opened it. It was signed 
"Leopold Rheinau," and the letters looked huge 
in her eyes, perhaps because she had expected to 
see an excessively minute calligraphy. She laughed 
at her own eagerness and read : 

" My very dear madam, why should I write to 
you ? I do not know. It would be far more dig- 
nified in me to hold my peace. In short, I do not 
know why I write. But I cannot resist an impulse 
to tell you that I know everything, that I under- 
stand it all. Perhaps nature, who is so apt to have 
her little secrets from us short-sighted mortals, 
has reserved you to be the true 'better half* to 
a man who never seemed disposed or fitted for 
marriage. I — believe me — am not a particularly 
good man ; and, at this moment, in the worst of 
humors ; but I wish you every happiness, and 
every blessing ; yes, all you can desire. And I 
feel I am not so bad as, in my present sceptical 
and critical mood, I am inclined to think myself 
Every blessing and every happiness. — And for- 


give me for ever having thought — what was not 
the case. 

" When you read this I shall be gone ; by the 
steamboat to Peschiera, — and on from thence I 
know not where. Remember me to the rest of 
your party. Tell them — what ? Anything. That 
I was suddenly obliged to return home ; yes, tell 
them that if you please. I shall forever respect 
and honor you — as long as I live, that is to say — 
as long as I breathe. I am always yours to com- 
mand till" I quit this life. I shall write the most 
desperately learned books and — adieu." 

** A strange letter," thought Ottilie. " It touches 
me singularly. — ^Why, child, what are you pulling 
at me for ?'* she asked" Judica, who was tugging 
with all her strength at her skirts. 

"It is Paolo," replied tht child, "He has a let- 

Paolo, the waiter, came in with all the com- 
bined dignity of his office and his nationality. 

" Here is the weekly bill," he said, in his sibi- 
lant Milanese accent ; " Signor Filippo asked for it. 
And here is a letter." 

" Give them to me," said Ottilie and the man 

departed. She opened the letter; and glanced 

first at the signature. She read : " The father of 

the child you have made happy." 

10 * 


" Judica's father, — writing to me ? — What 
about ?" She turned it over and looked at the first 
words : *' My dear young lady : 

" An unexpected and, in itself quite unim- 
portant circumstance, requires me to set out by 
the next omnibus that starts for Mori. . ,'* 

" To leave. He too ? * By the next omnibus 
to Mori.* Why, he must have been gone an 
hour," thought she. " Yes quite an hour." 

She read on ; on to the deeply respectful con- 
clusion. The hot color mounted to her cheeks 
more than once ; but at the end she laughed, re- 
folded the pastor's letter in the same clumsy shape 
as he had folded it in, and took up the bill. This 
too she read, word for word,, figure for figure, from 
beginning to end ; and then she discovered that 
neither words nor figures had left the smallest im- 
pression on her brain. '* I cannot give my mind 
to it," said she to herself " Good Heavens ! what 
a day of confusion." 

She started — she heard steps — only steps — 
why should that put her on the alert ? Whose 
steps ? — she would not look round ; she stood 
fixed and rigidly attentive by the glass door. Then 
again she felt Judica pulling at her dress — as if it 
were an electric communicator. 

" Well, what is it ?" she asked. 


" Look, Aunt Ottilie, it is the master, the land- 
lord of the hotel." 

" And has he a letter too ?" said Ottilie turn- 
ing round. Suddenly she grew very pale ; the little 
Italian, who was standing before her with a singu- 
larly grave expression, and the air of a man who 
has called to claim an over-due tax, had in fact a 
letter in his skinny yellow hand. 

" I have come about the bill," he began, with 
a look of defiant suspicion. 

" Are you in such a hurry ?" asked she some- 
what surprised. " Will you be so good as to take 
it to the professor, as soon as he comes down." 

''You are very kind, madam," answered the 
man with an insulting smile. " Signor Filippo de- 
sired me to deliver the bill to you ; you refer me 
to the Signor Professore; the Signor Professore 
sends me back to the Signor Filippo. And out of 
this pleasing circle there seems to be no issue — 
meanwhile where is my money?" 

'* Sir," said Ottilie, crimson with vexation, " I 
really fail to understand you. What do you mean 
by adopting this tone with me ? — I will go and 
beg the professor to come this minute." 

*' You will go and fetch him, madam ? — Not 
if I know it. I have kept this hotel these ten 
years, and I am up to all these little tricks. Yes, 


madam, to all your tricks. Do not trouble your- 
self, pray. I can see through it all. Dio miof 
how I have been taken in by these gentlemen ! — 
However, I still have you safe, and I ask you : 
Where is your money ?" 

** My good man, you are out of your mind,'' 
Ottilie broke out. "As soon as the professor comes 
down. ..." 

'* And you really believe that he is coming ?" 
interrupted the landlord. '*I do not, for an instant. 
He has taken himself off, and is far enough away 
by this time. And I had not a suspicion — I never 
dreamed of such a thing ! I did not know that 
Signor Filippo had already made himself scarce ; 
and so, like a fool, I let him go. The money for 
the bill is not in this letter, madam — I am afraid 

"What letter ? Give it me. . ." She took 
it from him and tore it open without pausing to 
look at the address. The tiny, close writing seemed 
to dazzle her sight ; the letters hopped about be- 
fore her eyes like rows of fleas. At last, after 
rubbing her eyes, to clear her brain as much as 
her sight, she managed to read : 

" My dear Philip,—" " then it is not for me 
after all," thought she ; but under the pressure of 
the situation, and her immediate alarm, she invol- 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 151 

untarily went on : ** In that unlucky moment, 
when I defied you, in fact proclaimed war against 
you, in such an unbrotherly way, letting my sel- 
fish passions assert themselves so vehemently and 
have the last word, it was not I that spoke — not 
I, but it ; that villanous it which is not our real 
self, and yet so often and so fatally asserts its 
supremacy. You may give it what name you will 
— I call it it. But now I am myself once more. 
I am a man again, who can face his destiny ; who 
can bend his back — accustomed now to its bur- 
den — and bear in silence all that fate may pile 
upon it. I know, I have long known, that I am 
not one of those who are born to be happy. I 
know that it is my duty to provide for your hap- 
piness ; that is my first duty and I have no right 
to wish it otherwise. I know this. I submit. I 
give her up, — I was born to give up ! What, 
indeed, is the obvious thing ? — To make you 
happy. Very good, be happy ! I swore to our 
mother that I would make that my care and I will 
do it. 

" Do not worry yourself as to what will be- 
come of me meanwhile. I can tighten up the 
strings of my heart, so that it shall not bleed to 
death, and I will dwell in solitude for a time ; in 
my mystical marriage. 


" Forget ! — Forget Ottilie ? —Well, I will try 
to act as the doctor advised when he bid me give 
up smoking: ' Give up cigars,' said he; 'do not 
smoke them any more/ I said to myself: ' Look 
here, it is quite preposterous that you should fancy 
that you need to smoke twice a day.* I admitted 
the truth of this remark, and only smoked in the 
evening. At first I smoked all my four cigars, 
one after another ; this went on for a few days, 
then I said to myself: * Three cigars are as many 
as any gentleman should smoke at a time.* And 
I agreed. Then — two. Then only one. Then 
I went to my doctor and I said to him : * Must I 
sacrifice this one ? Does medical science require 
it? — Good, then I will' — No he allowed me 
that one. I still smoke one. 

'* I will try the same process in this case. — 
Perhaps I may, even to the last, be allowed to in- 
dulge in a sigh, a remembrance. — Philip, be happy 
— that is all I ask. I am flying to leave you to 
your happiness. I am off in a chaise as far as 
Arco, and from thence to Trent. After that — 
who knows ? I cannot even think of that. — Keep 
due account of my share of the expenses ; I ask 
no mistaken forbearance. Now, I can write no 
more ; I can think no more. Tell Ottilie — no, 
tell her nothing — that I am gone because I give 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 153 

up — because I am 

"Your most unhappy, 

" Fridolin." 

"Well, and my money?*' asked the hotel- 
keeper, when she had read it and had been stand- 
ing for some minutes without speaking a word. 
" Will you oblige me by paying me, madam ?" 

At this enquiry Ottilie roused herself, and 
stared him blankly in the face. The state of af- 
fairs suddenly struck her with dismay: That she 
had no money — that Fridolin had given her up 
to his brother — and that she and Judica were 
there alone in a foreign country, with an unpaid 
hotel bill. The tragi- comedy of the situation was 
too much for her ; she dropped on to a chair. She 
still had senses enough to feel what a serious 
farce it might be for her ; and she began to cry. 



I MUST now ask the intelligent reader to 
return with me to Berlin, to the house where I 
formerly conducted him, across the court-yard^ 
and up to the third floor. If he will come into 
the aesthetic study — where, unless he is a very 
stout man he may still be able to turn round — if 
he places himself opposite the Apollo Belvedere, 
he will see, at Apollo's feet, a snug bedstead, in 
which, covered with a due amount of blankets, lies 
the slumbering Fridolin. It is early morning ; his 
dreams do not seem to be pleasant, for the lines 
between his brows are deep, and he sighs ; such a 
sigh must surely wake him ! No, not completely. 
He opens his eyes, but their speculation is vague. 
His sense of smell — the most alert of all our 
senses — is the first to wake; his handsome nose, 
is — as he himself puts it — the early bird of his 
consciousness, which is the first to scent the day. 
His nostrils slightly dilate; they are aware of a 
bunch of violets which are standing two yards off 
on a shelf — an etagerCy as it is thought genteel to 
call such a piece of furniture. The enjoyment of 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 1 55 

their fragrance impels him to open his eyes, and^ 
following the guidance of the nose, they gaze at 
the deep purple blossoms from which the perfume 
emanates ; they dwell upon it lovingly ; the pale 
blue of their iris seems to borrow a warmer hue from 
the flowers. The lines between his brows grow 
smoother; and something like a smile hovers 
round his bearded lips. But alas ! only for a mo- 
ment. The professor sits up in bed ; he throws off 
his Turkish counterpane, glances wearily round this 
crowded desert, this aesthetic solitude, and deep 
melancholy gradually clouds his features. . . . Once 
more the early bird seems to be on the alert — it 
quivers — it twitches — is it about to begin its 
morning song ? No, — the professor sneezes. Then 
he throws himself back into bed again, pulls the 
blankets well over his shoulders and looks out on 
the world with an unfavorable, almost a reproach- 
ful, gaze. 

** Why did I sneeze ?'* thinks he. " Because I 
am catching cold. Why do I catch cold ? Because 
I have given up being rubbed and cold-water- 
cured. Why should I not be rubbed ?" he pulls 
a bell- rope which dangled at his right hand. 

Well, will any one come when he rings, or not? 
Is he to be persistently neglected ? — No, some 
one is coming. Frau Therese Ritter — just as 


clean, just as good tempered and just as phlegma- 
tic as ever, Dame Ritter comes in. 

" You rang ?" says she, in her soft apathetic 
tones and she looks calmly at him from under her 
white cap frills. 

'* Yes, I did venture to take that liberty," he ' 
replies. " Will you first be so good as to tell me 
what the news is this morning by our good friend 
Reaumur ?'* 

" Twelve degrees outside, Herr Professor, and 
fourteen inside," and she glanced at a thermome- 
ter which hung near the door. " Fourteen ex- 

** Our boreal April is fast turning to May. — 
What on earth should make me sneeze in a room 
with the thermometer at fourteen ? This is not 
natural, it is a protest against the debilitating in- 
fluence of culture. I have been back only two 
days from the land where the sun really shines, 
and I sneeze at six in the morning. — I should like 
to see Doctor Strehlau ; — my dear woman, why 
do you keep Doctor Strehlau in the kitchen among 
your hot water cans, instead of sending him in 
here to me ? Why do you keep me waiting for 
him ?" 

"I keep you waiting, Herr Professor? — But 
he is not come yet." 


" Not come yet ! Every one neglects me. — 
Well, as soon as the wretch comes send him in.'^ 

" Is it him that rubs you ?" she asked. 

" No, my dear woman, it cannot be him, since 
nature and grammar require that he should rub in 
the nominative. It is he that rubs me. Who rubs? 
He rubs. Aunt Ritter, have the goodness to say 
it is he'' 

" He,'* she said with the sweetest smile. " But 
how is he to do it ? Only look round, Herr Pro- 
fessor, where is he to rub you ? There is no room 

" If there is not room enough here I can go 
into my brother's bedroom ; that is large enough.'^ 

" And the Herr Pastor. . .'* asked Aunt Ritter, 
with an air of perfect innocence, and quite un- 
moved, "is he never coming back again ?" 

"Aunt Ritter," replied Fridolin: "Your 
curiosity looks out of your eyes, as if you would 
like to see me through a microscope that might 
enable you to read my thoughts. But I assure you 
that I cannot tell you when the pastor will come 
back — because I do not know." 

" And my niece. . . ?" 

" The same holds good with regard to your 
niece," he added, with a sigh that he suppressed 
with difficulty. 


" Well, perhaps that is no further concern of 
mine," she said very resignedly. *' But if only I 
might know, — ^but I will not ask you again — why 
you returned so unexpectedly — and alone?" 

" Now, will you allow me to make one remark, 
in connection with that subject ?" 

** If you please," said she. 

*' Then I will take this opportunity of saying, 
that though you are the best of housekeepers, you 
are an inquisitive old goose ; and that I shall give 
you notice to quit, on the spot, if you allude once 
more — mark me, once more — to this subject. 
And now, with your permission, I will proceed to 

Frau Ritter acted on this hint to retire, with- 
out any argument, and, considering the professor's 
last threat, with commendable philosophy. She 
glided silently away in her felt slippers, and it was 
not till she reached the door that it occurred to her 
that it would beseem her dignity to have the last 

"Certainly, T am going. . ." she retorted. 
** Doctor Strehlau is come," she shouted from the 
adjoining room when she had disappeared. 

The door opened once more, and the man 
whom Fridolin called Doctor Strehlau, marched 
in with a heavy tramp, partly due to his thick 


milftary boots. He was a stalwart Pomeranian 
trooper and the latest recruit to the lowest grade of 
the body-guard ; the rank and file as Leopold 
called them. In the early morning, before his 
regular military duties required his attendance, he 
did for the professor what all his predecessors in 
office had done at the same hour. It was his sole 
and exclusive privilege to clean Fridolin's boots ; 
it was his honorable task to shake and brush the 
dust off all his coats and trousers ; on occasion he 
was told off to special service — to the service, that 
is to say, of Frau Ritter; finally, he had lately 
been promoted to the rank of " hydropathic prac- 
titioner," and his rough hands learnt to wrap 
Fridolin's limbs in wet sheets, and to knead and rub 
them till the patfent called out that he could bear 
it no longer. This function had procured him the 
nickname of "Doctor Strehlau." He was a con- 
scientious mortal, whatever he took in hand. He 
made his appearance regularly after dinner to 
drink up all the heel-taps ; his incessant vigilance 
' made it impossible that anything should " disap- 
pear" in Fridolin's house; and he was always 
singularly reluctant to quit the room till Fridolin's 
kind hand had offered him the usual cigar after the 
rubbing process was over. 

" Good-morning, Herr Professor," said he, as 


he came in with a beaming smile on his broad 

"Look here, my friend," answered Fridolin : 
" Do you see this sock on my right foot ? Is this 
what you call being punctual ? This sock on my 
right foot shows you that you are late — too late, 
this morning.'* 

" Yes, indeed, so it is, and I am very sorry," 
replied the dragoon, very frankly. " I sat tippling 
rather late last night, Herr Professor." 

** Sat tippling too late! What do you mean 
by telling me such a thing as that ? Are you an 
old booby fit to be made a field marshal, or a gal- 
lant young soldier of two and twenty ? When I 
had no more years on my shoulders than you have 
on yours. Doctor Strehlau, I conld drink all night 
till four in the morning if need were, and be awake 
again at five. Now, will you have the goodness 
to rub me to-day, or will you not ?" 

" Shall I begin at once ? Are you going 
through another course of it ?" 

"Yes ; I sneezed just now without any obvious' 
reason, so we will try it again. In the brown bed- 
room. Wait for me with your detestable wet 
sheets, and my clothes, in the brown bedroom. Do 
you go first in your military coat, and I will fol- 
low in my civilian's night-shirt." 

fridolin's mystical marriage. i6i 

** Very good, as you please," said Doctor 
Strehlau, and he led the way. 

FridoHn was left alone. " Merciful Heavens!*' 
sighed he, as he drew off his sock again. 
'' Ottilie ! — Ottilie !— but I am forbidden to think 
of her more than once a day. — Forbidden ! — 
Why ? Because my better, nobler self will have it 
so. Because the categorical imperative in me de- 
clares : It shall not be. — Ne unquam immemor 
sis te philosophum esse. She will forget you, just 
as many another has done ; she will be happy with 
another man ; — forget her too ; at any rate do all 
you can to do so. Now, go and be rubbed. . .'* 

He was standing all this time without his shirt, 
and, feeling that he was about to sneeze once 
more, he wrapped himself in his Turkish counter- 
pane, and hurried after his attendant. 

*' Take note, if you please. Doctor Strehlau,*' 
he observed, when the wet sheet was wound 
round him, — the dragoon's two red fists had be- 
gun to pound his back bone, — '* take particular 
note that I did not utter a sound when that 
atrocious cold wet cloth first touched me." 

** That is not a common thing certainly," said 
Doctor Strehlau. 

" Rub harder ; — I have only to tell myself 

that I do not feel it, and then I do not feel it. 


^ / 


Rub lower down too ; no portion of the human 
frame should be neglected ; each one has its func- 
tions and its rights. Have you done your task, my 
son, and learnt your geography lesson ? Why do 
you not answer me, Doctor Strehlau ?" 

*' Well, I have learnt some of it ; if you would 
not mind hearing me as much as I know. . ." 

" Tell me the names of the principal French — 
drat the villain he rubs like a maniac. — Never 
mind me ; go on, go on — of the principal fortified' 
towns in France, which was what I set you to 
learn I think." 

"Well, first there is Paris. . .*' a long pause. 
" You take a long time to think over Paris ; go on, 
what next ?" 


"Not Lilie, but Lille.— Lilie ! ah! that re- 
minds me of Ottilie ! Come, come, — this is a 
breach of discipline. — Oh ! Philip — oh ! Leo- 
pold — do not rub too hard.** 

"Well, yes there is Lille.** 

" Go on, go on, my son.** 

" Lyons.*' 

" Lyons ; Lyons is good. — But you go to 
sleep for as long between as though you had taken 
the towns. Get on, get on, Doctor, get on.** 

" Well. . .** 


There is no French town called * well/ Come 
get on; think a little faster." 

" Bordeaux ? — Is that a fortified town ?" 

'* My excellent friend — now on this shoulder 
— a little higher ; — that is a bad shot. • I under- 
took to improve your education ; a German soldier 
ought to be a man of education; better edu- 
cated than the soldiers of any other nation. Listen 
to what I am saying to you, but do not therefore 
stop rubbing, Doctor Strehlau. Your predecessors 
worked harder than you do. Why, even my lit- 
tle idle niece is more studious than you are ; — oh ! 
Judica — oh ! Ottilie — you should drink less beer 
my son, and consume more intellectual nourish- 

" I will indeed Herr Professor. You will see 
how clever I will be. Well, little Judica, — she 
has it in her by nature, you see. I take more to 
her than to her father, Herr Professor — if I may 
be allowed to have my say." 

*' There is not the slightest occasion, that I 
can see that you should have your say ; no one 
asked your opinion. Stick to your fortified towns, 
my boy; and conquer them all by to-morrow 
morning. Do you hear ? — He is rubbing all the 
skin off my body ; I can bear this no longer. — 
Yes, but I will ; I will hold out a while yet." 

TI * 


"Every one of them by to-morrow; I give 
you my word." 

" Take note, if you please, Doctor Strehlau, 
that thus, while we care for and maftreat the body, 
we at the same time exercise the mind, as though 
this violent treatment were no concern of the 
mind's — as though it were unconscious of it 
Observe that, for that is the stamp of a superior 
man; the mind being his nobler part — stop, 
stop. — Are you going mad ? Leave off I say." 

" Well, it does hurt, Herr Professor. . ." 

*' Dry me thoroughly — gently — now my 
shirt. What saint or martyr do you take me for, 
that you flay me alive ? My drawers — I hate you. 
You are the object of my utmost. . ." But he 
checked himself, and muttered under his breath — 
" Te philosophum esse, Te philosophum esse. — 
Now my socks; the clean pair, number eleven. 
That will do ; now you may go. Doctor Strehlau, 
you have fulfilled your duties — here is your cigar. 
Smoke it with discretion, my son, — ^and the French 
fortified towns," he called after him. 

" Oh ! yes, all right," said the Doctor with a 
smile of perfect confidence, as he left the room. 

Fridolin finished dressing. He sighed. He 
combed his lordly forelock; but he would not 
scent it ; — he never could bear to indulge in such 


little graces when he was not in spirits; he 
neglected himself. When he had combed his hair, 
he drew the hairs out of the comb one by one and 
laid them on a sheet of paper. Then he counted 
them. He gazed at them with profound pathos ; 
*' forty- three. — Three and forty. — I shall soon 
be bald at this rate. I am at that stage already — 
already bald, in heart. Nature is impressing this 
idea on me; — slowly, but surely. To-day — on 
my birthday — she leads me up to the discovery 
that I lose forty-three of my hairs in one morn- 
ing. My birthday. Who remembers it ? No one. 
I scarcely remembered it myself Did Aunt Ritter 
offer me her good wishes ? No. And after all 
why should she — she or any one else ? Why on 
earth ? Who or what am I ? A nobody, a zero. 
A mortal without a guiding star. These lines 
between my eyebrows grow deeper and deeper.*' 
— He was standing in front of the looking-glass — 
**my life grows narrower and shallower. I was a 
singular, a remarkable entity ; — now I am a per- 
fect insignificant non-entity.'* 

*' But nature has gone to work very cunningly 
with me,*' he suddenly exclaimed to himself " She 
perceives, like a well-trained dog, that she must 
obey the categorical imperative that commands in 
me ; she is forbidden to think of Ottilie ; what 

1 66 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

does she do ? She worries herself with all my 
other troubles, sighs over them, and so justifies 
her dismal mood. Yes nature is cunning, — or 
perhaps wise — now for breakfast. A quarter to 
eight. Coffee ; hot coffee, and a warm new roll ; 
and a capital idea too. — Let us make the best of 
life and try not to be too dismal on this birthday, in 
spite of our forty-one years, and the loss of forty- 
three hairs.'* 

Thus philosophising he went into the parrot- 
room, in which he was accustomed to breakfast 
and dine. But he stood still to stare with aston- 
ishment as he opened the door. In the middle of 
the table was a stupendous cake of a nature that was 
especially dear to his soul, garlanded with spring 
flowers ; a tall silver cup, with a cover that served 
as a pedestal for a female figure, who, by the em- 
blems she displayed, tried to show that she per- 
sonified art — stood behind the cake, presiding 
over it so to speak. Behind this again, an impos- 
ing background, stood three of the body-guard in 
the flesh; Rudolf, Franz, and the other young 
architect ; all in their best clothes, as was due to 
the solemnity of the occasion. To crown the 
composition, quite at the back and in the centre, 
stood Risotto, towering above the rest, like a bel- 
fry tower ; and from his lips — from the top story 


of all as it were — came the greeting like a morn- 
ing peal : ** Good- morning, Professor Fridolin/* 
and ** Good- morning, Professor Fridolin/' echoed 
the other three. 

** Here we are/' added fat Rudolf Fridolin 
looked at them all in silence ; he was dumb with 
surprise and sudden emotion. 

** Rudolf, it is your turn," murmured Risotto. 
Rudolf stepped forward. He cleared his throat; — 
but then he evidently recollected that his master, 
who stood expectant before him, had always im- 
pressed upon them all that they should start a 
speech without any coughing and scraping, with 
simplicity and dignity, so he began : " You did 
not inform us, Fridolin, that to-day was your birth- 
day ; but we knew it. We heard that you had 
come home again ; so we have called this morn- 
ing" — and he smiled — "to express to you by 
these flowers " — and he pointed to the wreaths 
on the table — "our deep respect — how much 
we respect you. . ." 

" And love you," added Franz, with hearty 

" And love you," repeated Rudolf. "And to 
offer you this cup, as a small testimonial from 
your faithful disciples. . ." 

1 68 fridolin's mystical marriage. 


" All our names are engraved on it," Risotto 
put in. 

" And a token of our gratitude, and attach- 
ment. . ." 

** And sincere admiration," added the young 
architect. Rudolf glanced over his shoulder, with 
some annoyance at these interruptions: then he 
proceeded : 

" We wanted to find little Frivolin, and bring 
him with us ; but he has hidden himself Where ? 
We know not. We know no more of him than 
of the Chinese language. . ." 

"What has that to do with it ?" said Risotto. 

" We should have made him serve as our poet 
on the occasion," Rudolf went on. "For, to our 
great regret, he is the only one of us all who has 
sufficient. . ." He could not find the word he 
wanted. " Who has the knack of turning verses — 
the dodge of it." 

" Dodge is not a classical word, in that sense 
at least," interrupted Fridolin, who had listened up 
to this, without moving a muscle. *' I prefer, if 
necessary, knack even." 

" Well, we have none of us that knack," Ru- 
dolf went on, " and so, in our necessity, we were 
forced to apply to Franz, and he, in all that con- 
cerns poetry, is the most helpless creature. . ." 


Franz smiled resignedly. "And on myself, and I 
am just as helpless," added Rudolf good-humor- 
edly. " We said that as there was absolutely no 
alternative, we must just make the best of it what- 
ever it might turn out ; whether it proved silly or 
clever, lyric, tragic, romantic, philosophical, comi- 
cal, pharmaceutical — so long as we hammered 
out something.'* 

" And it is a mixture of them all,'* suggested 
Risotto from behind. 

" It is the wildest nonsense at any rate," said 
Franz, who now came to the front, with a frank 
laugh. " Risotto and the young savage " — he 
meant the young architect — "both had a finger 
in the pie ; and now, with your permission, we 
will recite these famous lines, each in turn, after 
the manner of the chorus in a classical play. 

Fridolin bowed his commands, and the four 
young men placed themselves in a row. 

" You begin," whispered Risotto to Franz, dig- 
ging him in the ribs with a ponderous elbow. 
Franz could not help laughing at the absurdity of 
the performance, but he began : 

" How stealthily the passing seasons stole 
Till forty-one the bell of warning pole. . ." 

" We have selected the most out-of-the-way 


rhymes by preference whenever it has been prac- 
ticable," Rudolf interrupted him to say. 

" Go on ; do your worst/' said Fridolin. " My 
dear Franz, pray proceed." Franz went on with 
another grin : 

* His one and forty years are now achieved, 
So rumor whispered but I scarce believed. 
* They are ' repeated memory's brazen tongue. 
So this poor tribute to his feet we brung. 
Poetic lucubration racked my soul, 
What time I slowly eat my morning roll." 

Then Rudolf came forward and went on : 

" Perhaps — thought I — he feels the wishes true. 
Which to his side this early morning flew ; 
Perhaps he's jolly ; whistling and singing. 
His conscious ears burning and loudly ringing ; 
While to himself he says : ' Now by this token, 
The day I had kept secret must have broken.' " 

The young savage, coming forward : 

•' He sighs, remembering the fateful night 
When he — then but an infant — first saw the light ; 
Since then how fast, how many years have flown — 
Infancy, childhood, youth,— all past and gone. 
Evening draws in ; * What will the coming day be? 
What dreams I dreamed while I was yet a baby. 
Old age steals in to grab me in his nippers, 
I hardly hear him yet — he treads in slippers.' " 

Risotto, in a voice broken by emotion : 

" Nay, cheer up, master, life is on the whole 
Before you still ; and smiles as once it smole. 
What dost thou lack ? Does not a soul sublime 
Though youth desert thee, triumph over time ? 
And we stand firm your faithful body-guard 
Nailed to the mast, though adverse winds blow hard." 


Then Franz : 

" And so we made these verses in your honor, 
To wish you joy to-day, and eke to-morrow." 

'* Honor and morrow are good !" exclaimed 
Fridolin, trying to conceal the emotion he could 
not help feeling. " How am I to thank you 
enough for this poetical address, my friends ? for 
these rhymes without — and yet with so much, 
reason, of its kind — its kindly kind. You" are 
right, — I am surq you are right : 

' Courage he cried and pointed to the land.' 

We are not old, so very old : 

' That shore is still at some distance and there is life in the old 
dog yet.' " 

" That is right," said Risotto rubbing his 
hands. "That is right." 

" I really think there is a tear in my eye, as 
the outcome of all this nonsense ; — well, well, I 
am not ashamed of it. — But how am I to thank 
you ? Shall I even attempt to thank you ? No. 
Here is my hand — both my hands. Two at once 
— so — and now you other two. You have done 
me a far greater benefit than you wot of, — than 
you could conceive of You are. . . but what ! not 

172 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

thank you ? Yes, I will. At least I will try to 
thank you — in my own way. Here. . .*' he went 
to a wardrobe and drew out the bottom shelf. It 
was heaped with papers, waistcoats and other lum- 
ber which the body-guard had stowed away on the 
day when Ottilie had arrived. He pointed to the 
waistcoats. " You wrote your names in these,'* he 
said. " They were to become yours as soon as I 
left them off. — I leave them off to-day. Take, 
my beloved sons, that which belongs to you. I 
am only an impecunious professor, all I have to 
give you is a waistcoat now and then, — and the 
true heart which once beat beneath it." 

" Heaven be my witnsss," said Rudolf, with 
honest feeling, " we are sincerely grateful to 

" Still, thou hast never given me one," sighed 
Franz humbly. " The crowning favor to be sure is 
mine of being allowed to say thou. . ." 

" But is that any reason that you should come 
worst off? Choose a waistcoat that has no name 
written in it; it is yours." 

" And what do you want. Aunt Ritter ?" he 
asked, as the dame suddenly appeared on the 
scene, murmuring some inaudible words. 

" I wish to be allowed to offer you my best 
wishes too," she said a little louder. " I could not 


keep quiet any longer. I did not dare say so be- 
fore, Herr Professor. The young gentlemen made 
me promise that I would not let on that I knew 
what day it was. And may you live long and be 
happy, Herr Professor,*' — she grasped the hand 
he held out to her. '* And don't you find fault 
quite so often ;** — she smiled at him with motherly 
kindliness. ** Well, and may we always get on 
and hang together, the professor and I." 

" Aui\]t Ritter," replied Fridolin, " do you see 
these young people, they are coming into their 
inheritance. Each of them has just taken posses- 
sion of the waistcoat I had bequeathed to him. 
Can I give you a waistcoat too ? No. But I feel 
to-day in a mood the converse of that of Richard 
of England, as I remember him played by the 
great Ludwig Devrient when you used to tremble 
at him in your innocent youth : ' I am in a giving 
mood to-day.' You once wished to have a lock 
of my hair in your gold locket. Now in the brown 
bedroom, lying on a sheet of yesterday's paper, 
you will find forty-three hairs out of my head. 
Take them, they are yours. And for the back of 
that same locket — magnificent generosity on niy 
part — I will give you my photograph ; the one 
which you think such a flattering likeness, that 
smiles at you like life. If ever I find fault, Aunt 


Ritter, open your locket, and hold up that smiling 
photograph before my eyes, — and I promise to 
smile. And now oblige me by going to send that 
deaf wench of yours to open the door ; some one 
has rung twice already. And then will you send 
me an excellent cold breakfast with some old 
Rhine wine for these four youngsters ; for we 
must make it our first duty to christen this cup." 




" Some one has rung for the third time/' re- 
marked Risotto. 

"They have answered the door now," said 
Rudolf. The dining-room door opened, and a 
young man, a stranger, with no more than a ten- 
der dark down on his upper lip, came in. He 
looked like a man who has just come from 
the railway, after having travelled all night ; his 
hair was in some disorder, he was interestingly 
pale, and his clothes were covered with dust. The 
color, however, mounted in his cheeks, as he ad- 
vanced, without speaking, but evidently trying to 
identify the master of the house. Fridolin, on his 
part said nothing but gazed at the stranger. 

" I believe I am not mistaken — you are he ?*' 
the young man said at last in a very agitated 

" I believe that I am he," replied Fridolin. *'If 
you will have the kindness to tell me. . ." 

" I must apologize," interrupted the stranger, 
*' for intruding so early in the day — straight from 
my journey — without waiting to dress — but in- 

176 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

deed I had not time — I could not delay. I must 
set out again at once. I have come on my sister's 
account, Herr Professor." 

Fridolin looked hard at the excited lad who 
spoke in a very pleasant, manly voice, in spite of 
his evident embarrassment. 

** I dare swear,** he cried suddenly, *' you are 
Fraulein Ottilie's brother.'* 

** Just so, sir. And I have come to ask you, 
sir," — and his handsome, frank young face as- 
sumed an expression that might have been called 
threatening — " what is the meaning of this his- 
tory — of this extraordinary behavior to my 
sister ?" 

** Behavior ! — My good friend, I entirely fail 
to understand you." 

" Pardon me," said the young man, coloring 
violently : ** Do not call me your good friend, I 
beg. If I ever could have supposed that my sis- 
ter would be exposed to such treatment — to such 
treatment," he repeated — *' as she has experi- 
enced at your hands — I would never have con- 
sented to her entering this house." 

Fridolin simply stared. The body-guard, 
much excited and mystified, formed in close order 
and waited to hear their leader's reply. 

" Who understands what this means ?" asked 


Fridolin at length. ** I do not. If you really are 
her brother — but yes, you certainly are — it is 
written in your face — the brother whom she ex- 
pected to see at Lake Garda ?'* 

** I have been there to see her, sir, and I would 
have seen her but that she was gone. After you 
had deserted her in such an unwarrantable, such 
an unheard-of way." 

It was now Fridolin*s turn to color ; there was 
a pause before he could decide to speak. 

"You use strange expressions, young man," 
he said. ''Deserted? — I left the hotel. Oh! 
yes, I certainly left. But Fraulein OttiHe was 
safe in charge of my brother ; she is governess to 
his little girl. If you call that. . ." 

" You left her in charge of your brother — in 
his care ? — How can you say that, sir, when your 
brother had already left the place? — You came 
away, sir, you left my sister alone with the little 
girl; in an hotel; without money — like an im- 
postor who cannot pay her bill — ;;/j' sister^ sir ! 
What reasons you may have had I cannot pretend 
to know ; but I do not hesitate to tell you in so 
many words, that a gentleman and a man of 
honor. . ." 

" Hallo !" cried Risotto coming forward. 

" Say nothing, Risotto, I beg," said Fridolin, 



who was struggling hard to keep his temper. " If 
I require any defence I can defend myself Sir,*' he 
went on to the young champion, — ** good God ! 
how is it possible to be so like her with a bass 
voice and an infant moustache ? — Sir, I should 
be infinitely obliged to you if for the moment you 
would suspend your judgment as to the moral as- 
pect of the case and inform me as to the logical 
and historical connection of this extraordinary- 
business ; how you came to know all about it, and 
where Fraulein Ottilie now is — at this present 

"Where she is at this moment! — That sir is 
what I expected to learn from you ; that is what 
I have travelled back to Berlin to ascertain ; I 
have travelled day and night for that sole purpose. 
And I tell you plainly, sir. . ." 

" Pray, — a few minutes* patience and self-con- 
trol ; wait before you tell me anything of the kind 
— he is exactly like her, — exactly, — relieve me 
in the first place of my terrible anxiety — treat 
the subject historically if you possibly can. A 
circumstantial narrative, I beg. — You reached 
Riva?. . r 

" Yes, I reached Riva ; I had written to tell my 
sister that I would go that way to Rome In order 
to see her " — Fridolin nodded — " for one day, 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 179 

or perhaps two ;" — Fridolin nodded again — "I 
went to the hotel, and there I asked for her. She 
is gone ! * Madame is gone * — said the waiter 
laughing most insolently in my face. I sent for 
the hotel-keeper : * Madame is off/ said he, with 
his damned significant smile. — ^What do you want, 
what are you staring at ?" he suddenly exclaimed 
to Fridolin ; " what do you see in me to stare at 

*' I beg your pardon — Ottilie to the life in 
man's clothing; he is the most interesting looking 
lad I ever saw in my life. — It is only your extra- 
ordinary resemblance — I beg of you, I implore 
you to proceed with your story.'* 

" Well ; I asked — that is to say I tried in the 
first place to make the man understand that he 
had better keep his impertinence and insinuations 
to himself; but I hate the Italian faces — well I 
enquired : Do you mean to say that the whole 
party has moved? — 'Oh! yes,' said he, 'all of 
them, one by one. First the three gentlemen 
made off, singly. At last the lady was left alone 
with the child ; she made a great scene and turned 
on her tears ; then she explained that she had ab- 
solutely no money and could not pay me. If you 
cannot pay, madamCy said I ' — as he told me — 
' you will allow me to take legal steps in the mat- 

12 * 

i8o fridolin's mystical marriage. 

ter ; for there is such a thing as a police force in 
this country, I would have you to know madamey 
and judges madame, . .' " 

" Good God !" exclaimed Fridolin, who could 
contain himself no longer, " police ! judge ! — 
what has happened ? Is she in prison ?" 

** Have the goodness to leave go of my arm,*' 
said the youth rather hotly. " No, not in prison. 
If she were I should hardly speak to you so coolly 
as I do — I should, in plainer words perhaps. . ." 

" My dear sir, I entreat you to have a little 
longer patience, to continue your story in an ob- 
jective key to the end. — His indignation becomes 
him well, — to tell me in three words what has 

*' In three words then : she is gone. A gen- 
tleman arrived that same evening, he had some 
conversation with her ; he was known to her it 
would seem. Then she made a long explanation, 
of which the hotel-keeper could make neither 
head nor tail, as he does not understand German. 
However, the gentleman paid the bill ; — at which 
the man chose to laugh very insultingly," added 
the young man, biting his lip, " Next morning 
they all three set out, — my sister, the little girl, 
and this gentleman, — all three together, in a car- 
riage for Trent." 

fridolin's mystical marriage. i8i 

** Leopold ! I hope and believe that it was 
Leopold !" cried Fridolin. 

" I do not know who Leopold may be/* re- 
torted Ottilie's brother. " I only know that this 
gentleman, over whose advent the landlord smiled 
so insolently — and I could not for the life of me 
recollect the word ' impudenza ' at the moment — 
that this gentleman before he started, wrote his 
name in the visitors' book as ^Frivolino, pittorCy 
Berlino' That is all I know about him." 

" Frivolin !" exclaimed Risotto. ''Now the 
murder is out !" 

'' I beggied you to be silent, my son," inter- 
rupted the professor. " What do you say ? You 
found little Frivolin on the shores of LakeGarda? 
Did he follow us ? Has that little Don Juan 
rushed after Fraulein Ottilie ? Accompanied her 
to Trent ? Trent ! Telegraph to Trent, at once, 
this minute." 

** That is superfluous," answered the young 
man, who at the words ' Don Juan ' had grown 
more gloomily wrathful than ever. " I went to 
Trent, direct from Riva. I asked at every hotel 
for a young lady with a little girl and a gentleman, 
and, at last, at the Corona^ they told me that three 
travellers, answering my description, had passed 
through and supped there, but had gone on by 

1 82 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

the night express for the north. This was the last 
trace I could find of her. The porter mentioned 
the name of Bolzano ; of Botzen ; I went to Bot- 
zen and hunted through every hotel, every restau- 
rant, every street, — in vain. No sign of them. 
So then I set out for Berlin, to find you, at any 
rate, sir.*' 

" Good God ! — When he looks at me like that, 
he has exactly his sister's eyes; hazel eyes, — 
but we know nothing about them, nothing what- 
ever. — Out in the wide world under Frivolin's 
care. — Where can we turn ? What can we do ? 
We ought to do something at once, — and my 
brother has disappeared, you say — I cannot un- 
derstand it at all. Disappeared, vanished, leaving 
his Judica — I cannot understand it ! — It is rid- 
dle upon riddle ! Well, sir — Herr Ritter, — Fer- 
dinand Ritter if I mistake not. . ." 

The young man bowed. 

" For my share in this catastrophe, Herr Rit- 
ter, — just her nose, — I will presently account to 
you. But for the present our first endeavor must 
be to find this lost sister of yours. Telegraph ! — 
where to ? — Everywhere, of course. But where 
can she be ? As she has not come back to this 
house, — which would have been her simplest and 
most obvious course. . ." 


*' And do you imagine, sir, that after being 
treated in such a way, my sister would ever have 
thought, for a single instant, of returning to this 
house ?" 

Fridolin reddened. *' How like he is to her ! 
Positively delightful ! — Go on by all means, my 
young friend. You can mak6 speeches while I 
act. Talk as much as you please, — I will tele- 
graph. Franz, my son, sit down; here, at this 
table ; — pen, paper, ink, a telegraph form. Now, 
to my brother Philip ; at Neustadt. If he left 
Riva so suddenly where can he have gone ? Why, 
home of course. Where would Fraulein Ottilie 
most naturally take his daughter ? Why, home to 
him. Probably, — probably is perhaps too strong; 
let us say possibly. At any rate we can but try. 
So now for a telegram. 

" Are you at home. Has Fraulein Ottilie fol- 
lowed you with Judica. If not what news have 
you of her movements. 

'* Fridolin." 

" How many words ?" he asked, when Franz 

had written this. 

*' Twenty-one with the name at the end." 

'* Strike out 'yon' * Followed with Judica,' so 

many words are not laconic, not telegrammic. 


Now Strike out * have you ' and insert * answer pre- 
paid.' That is twenty words exactly. Strictly en 

" And now. . . ?" asked Franz rising. 

" Now take the telegram, put on your hat, and 
be off like a lamplighter." 

" Do you sit down in his place, Risotto,*' he 
went on ; *' we must telegraph elsewhere. — If you 
would not mind telling me, Herr Ritter, it would 
forward matters if you could suggest any one to 
whom your sister might have turned for protection, 
as she is not here ; if she has not taken Judica to 
her father." 

*' Where else she can have gone ?" 

'^ Just so." 

** To her uncle, perhaps — her uncle and mine, 
with whom she was living before she came here." 

** A highly probable idea. There is everything 
in its favor. Now, if you would be so good as to 
tell me that uncle's address." 

" Here is his card," replied the young man, 
taking out his pocket-book and handing a visiting- 
card to Fridolin — '* or shall I, perhaps I ought. . ." 

" No, no, this is my affair, my duty ; it is I 
who am guilty, I who am responsible ; you your- 
self said so. Write, Risotto, the address first from 
this visiting-card. Have you got it? — That is 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 185 

well, now go on : * Kindly inform me whether 
Fraulein Ottilic Ritter is with you. If not where 
is she? Reply paid/ And my address — just 
twenty words, good." 

'^ Shall I take it ?" asked Risotto. 

'* Yes, my little giant, go, and sacrifice your- 
self to the cause. We must all be swift, decided, 
and prompt to-day. Go, fly with the telegram. — 
Risotto is off. Now, no delay on our part — let us 
leave no stone unturned. Where else can we let 
our cry to the rescue be heard ? To whom may 
your sister have gone besides your uncle? Who; or 
what else may she have thought of?" 

" I can only think of an aunt in Potsdam," 
said the young man. " This aunt not long since 
invited her to stay with her. . ." 

'' To stay with her ! This again is a hypothesis 
that has much in its favor. — The very name of 
Potsdam has something pleasing in it when it is 
Ottilie's brother who says it. — We will telegraph 
to Potsdam at once. Her address, if I may be al- 
lowed. . ." 

** I do not know it unfortunately." 

" Not even the name of the street ?" 


*' This cannot be entrusted to the telegraph. It 

1 86 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

is a question of time and intelligence. My dear 
Rudolf, a train starts for Potsdam within the next 
quarter of an hour ; in five minutes at the latest 
you must be at the station ; in three quarters of an 
hour you will be on the bridge at Potsdam. Go 
straight to the head office of police, enquire for 
this aunt — her name, Herr Ritter?" 

" Frau Altsch wager, Antonie Altsch wager, arti- 
ficial flower- maker, or something of the kind, I 

** Something of the kind — quite clue enough, 
my dear Rudolf, for a mind like yours. Ask for 
her, find her out, see her, discover how matters 
stand. Thank God ! it is holiday-time, and we can 
give the time and attention to this business that it 
requires. What, you are not gone yet ? — Ah ! 
he is going, — take my blessing, my dear fellow, 
and earn my gratitude." 

" How soon can he be back again ?" Fridolin 
asked himself, as he looked at his watch. It is a 
quarter to nine. — Let us give him two hours ; — 
or, to allow for human fallibility, let us say three. — 
Gone off with that wretched little Frivolin ? Now, 
can we find no clue by which to trace this Frivolin? 
Let us consider where he may have gone — I 
think, if I remember rightly, that he once told me 
that he lived here in Berlin with a brother, — a^ 


red-haired brother with no talent for anything. 
Savage, am I correct ?'* 

The young savage nodded. 

** Do you know where he lives ?*' 

** Oh, yes. Certainly." 

*'ls it far from this?" 

** No, quite near." 

" Then put on your most stylish head-piece, 
my boy, and fly on the wings of the wind. Go 
and see this brother. Ask him if he knows any- 
thing of the absconded Frivolin. . ." 

" Should we not do better to use the local tele- 
graph. . . ?" suggested the young architect, who 
at this instant saw the girl come in with the break- 
fast that had been ordered. 

" Your own good legs are surer," said the pro- 
fessor. ** You will be quicker there and quicker 
back again. Earn your breakfast, by showing a 
philosophical superiority to its charms. . ." 

** Good ! he is off too !" said Fridolin, as the 
last of the four body-guards quitted the room, 
and he was left alone with Ottilie's brother. " Now, 
my dear sir, we have leisure to think of my ex- 
cuses ; and you shall condemn me if you consider 
me guilty. Here stands Clavigo ; there stands 
his accuser, Beaumarchais. Put me altogether 
out of the question. Still, do not you think it 


would be wise to improve the critical faculties by- 
recruiting your physical strength, or to combine 
the two. Meanwhile let us breakfast." 

" Thank you very much," said the young fel- 
low, with a smile that he could not entirely con- 
ceal. " But I really could not eat anything. Thank 
you all the same." 

" You are determined to try the case fasting, — 
he smiled, his smile is like hers, and such a smile ! 
— Herr Ferdinand Ritter, why do you hesitate ? 
Why do you say nothing ?" 

'' Forgive me," said his guest blushing ; " I see 
from all the efforts you are making, that I have 
done you an injury ; that you are certainly no 
guilty party to this mysterious and extraordinary 
affair. I hardly know what to say — I — pray for- 
give me." 

" Forgive you ? For being such a chivalrous, 
nay, such a truly brotherly champion of your sis- 
ter's rights ?" 

"But I have spoken very strongly — too 
strongly to you," and the young fellow blushed a 
deeper crimson than before. " In my first excite- 
ment. . .in the firm belief, that. . . you know, I did 
say some very strong things. . ." he repeated, with 
an awkward smile. 

" His smile is even pleasanter than hers. — 


But I thank you sincerely for speaking so 
strongly, Herr Ritter; it has revealed to my 
acquaintance one of the best — one of the most 
ideal brothers that ever came within my ken. It is 
you who must forgive me for venturing to say so 
much. And yet, why should I not ? — Why should 
not men express their respect, their admiration for 
each other ? so long as it is genuine. — And nature 
has made you in every respect your sister's brother, 
the worthy champion of such a sister. You are 
only another edition of her, a translation into an- 
other tongue. A translation into the stronger and 
firmer language of manhood. Do I interpret your 
action rightly ? You offer me your right hand ? 
Here is mine. The right hand of forgiveness and 
reconciliation — of mutual good understanding. 
It gives me the greatest pleasure, Herr Ferdinand 
Ritter, — Ferdinand, a good name, — it makes me 
happy to think that we are friends. We have lost 
your sister in an utterly incomprehensible and un- 
accountable way ; but do not let that worry us ; 
by using our intelligence and acumen we shall find 
her again, rely upon it." 

'* I have no doubt of it," replied Ferdinand 
Ritter. "The way in which you have set to work — 
and my sister's courage and determination, — I am 
not really anxious ; not in the least, — and I am 


most grateful to you ; if only you will forgave 


" Forgive ? — I will not hear that word again. 
It has no sense as between you and me. But why 
do we stand ? I have not yet bid you be seated. 
That is really monstrous. Let us both be seated, 
by this table which is so invitingly spread. You 
will not eat anything — then at least you will drink 
something ? out of these green hock glasses, Herr 
Ferdinand, — you will allow me I trust, as an old 
professor, to call you by your Christian name — 
he nods — he smiles — what a charming expres- 
sion — to your very good health ! and our success ! 
The gurgle of the wine as the first glass is poured 
out, is to me one of the most delightful sounds in 
nature. It reminds me of the hesitating, bashful 
sighs of a maiden at the first kiss. . ." he suddenly 
checked himself; he thought of Ottilie. He re- 
membered that he was in love with her. But " a 
change had come o'er the spirit of his dream." 
The thought was no longer anguish ; nay, not even 
a pang. Here he sat, his old self, Fridolin the old 
bachelor, who never would and never could marry, 
no longer Count Egmont, sighing for a lady fair, 
but Professor Socrates, the teacher of men, ab- 
sorbed in watching the development of a youthful 
intelligence. He looked round upon himself, as it 


were, and could not help smiling. He could have 
fancied that, behind a veil, he saw mother nature , 
herself, fixing her calm, wise gaze on him, as much 
to say: "Yes, my son, this is the way I cheat you; 
I cure you of your love of the sister by inspiring 
you with friendship for the brother, and so lead 
you back to your true self — keep you balanced, 
as it were, between yourself and yourself, and by 
this subtle see-saw I keep you faithful to the bond 
between your two selves. What was Qttilie to you ? 
Here she is in another guise. Look at this frank and 
simple-minded boy; as handsome as she herself! 
Open his mind, educate him, fill his soul with lofty 
sentiments, with wide ideas, and so make him your ' 
own. Was Socrates happy with Xantippe ? No. 
His happiness lay in discovering noble youths, 
whose teacher, master, father and friend, he might 
become — and this shall be yours. There he sits 
opposite you. You have only to fulfil your 

" This is capital wine," said Fefdinand 
modestly, breaking the silence after a rather long 
pause : " But you, Herr Professor, are drinking 
nothing/' Fridolin came to himself with a start; 
he nodded to the lad, and then, sat gazing at him 
with a softened and kindly expression. 

" That is the first time you hlsive addressed me 


as * Herr Professor ;' " he said. " Let it be the last, 
Ferdinand ; from your lips it has an unnatural — 
an inhuman sound. * Herr Professor !' how happy 
were the ancients, the early Greeks, who knew 
not the use of titles, who spoke always as man to 
man. — Call me Fridolin, neither more nor less. 
All my young friends call me so, and I count you 
already as one of them. Say it pray, — say Fri- 

'' Fridolin," said Ferdinand ; modestly, but 
with some pride and amusement. 

'' Fridolin ! — the name sounds delightful from 
your lips. Your sister, — what was I going to say 
to you about your sister, — I have forgotten. — 
Fill your glass ; there is something I wish to say 
to you, and I am not afraid of its making you 
vain ; for I can read your character in those brown 
eyes of yours — you have some sound sense and 
ideality. Clink your glass against mine, my friend, 
I will drink to your remaining as unspoilt, as good- 
hearted, as — as ideal, as you are at this moment. 
Say nothing, — you blush, well and good, — but 
do not disclaim. I know, I can see, Ferdinand, 
that you arc made of the right stuff. I rather flat- 
ter myself that I have something of the eye — the 
* daimon ' — of Socrates ; yours is a noble soul in 
a noble form. — How innocently bashful, how pa- 


thetically he looks at me — Ferdinand, your hand. 
You compelled my esteem by flinging your ac- 
cusations and insults so frankly in my teeth ; and 
now, when you look in my face with such friendly 
confidence, you quite make me love you." 

*' Fridolin," exclaimed the lad starting up, for 
he was much too excited to sit still, ** what a 
splendid fellow you are, — what a generous ! . . ." 
he broke off and gazed with admiration at his new 
ally, '* is it possible — if it ever could be possible, 
that you could be my friend. . .*' 

'' It is the accomplished fact," said Fridolin 
heartily, to conceal his too ecstatic mood ; and he 
grasped the boy's hands warmly. '' Why should 
we postpone it for a year, or till the autumn, or 
till to-morrow? Now or never. I can read your 
soul in your eyes, Ferdinand ! and behind those 
windows dwell youthful candor, a pure and whole- 
some nature, and a lofty spirit of enthusiasm. En- 
thusiasm is everything ! Endow a man with every 
good gift and deprive him of that sacred fire, and 
you have left him dead though he live. When I 
find true enthusiasm in a young breast, I believe 
in that man, I have hopes of him, — I love him at 
once. Yes, bpy, and so I love you ! You, do I 
say ? — But those happy Greeks had no such for- 
mality. My old heart, which you have warmed, 




can stand on no such ceremony. Why should we 
wait until the exchange of a few thousand words 
has made us familiar ? Give me that cup, — the 
silver cup, with the silver figure on the top. We 
will consecrate it ! Empty the bottle into it. 
Drink, my boy, drink. To enthusiasm, friendship, 
love — and thou.'' 

" How foolish we are," Fridolin began again 
when they both had drunk, and Ferdinand was 
standing before him in a sort of rapture, quite 
overcome by his feelings. ** And how short-sighted 
when we despair in the morning of the day before 
us. We unforeseeing creatures, we blind moles of 
the upper world, never know what it may bring 
forth. Could I possibly have imagined, an hour 
ago, that this birth-day of mine, which I so hear- 
tily cursed, would bring me so much happiness ? — 
But now, as I look at you, my dear Ferdinand, 
I perceive that you look for all the world like a 
little smutty town sparrow — and are still in pre- 
cisely the same state as you were when the Berlin 
railway company restored you to the civilized 
world. Let me conduct you into the adjoining 
room ; there I can supply you with soap, a comb 
and brush — and a clean shirt. And then, when 
Adonis rises clean and fresh from the soapy foam, 
you shall be introduced to your affectionate aunt ; 


for it has just occurred to me that Frau Therese 
Ritter is in fact your aunt, and that you, you vil- 
lain — what a word to use to so noble a youth — 
that you have not yet paid your respects to her." 


- y 

13 ♦ 



*' A TELEGRAM," said the messenger, to whom 
Aunt Ritter opened the door. " For the Herr 

" A telegram !" cried Fridolin, who had heard 
the announcement through the half-opened door. 
** A telegram already. — Well, I have always said 
that next to lighting by gas, which has enabled us 
at last to obtain a decent amount of lighting in our 
houses — the electric telegraph is the greatest dis- 
covery of the century, my dear Ferdinand, and an 
evidence of the benevolence of Providence. Here> 
man of electricity, here is your receipt; you 
would like a cigar for your pains ? — Well, take 
one out of that box. When I am so happy shall 
I let you pine ? No ! Good-morning. — Now for 
the telegram." 

** From whom ?" asked Ferdinand. 

** Not from my brother, as I fancied it was; 
from your uncle, my son. — ' My niece Ottilie not 
here. Much disturbed by your telegram. Know 
nothing of her movements.' So that is all the 
good we have done by that ; we have * much dis- 


turbed ' the worthy man, which was aUke un- 
necessary and useless. There is no blessing in the 
telegraph, my boy !'* 

" There is the bell again," remarked Aunt 
Ritter — who had been gazing at her nephew, the 
son of her *scholard brother,' with pride and ad- 
miration — and she trotted off to the door. 

** A telegram," said a voice outside, *'for the 
Herr Professor." 

'* I can hardly call this the quietest morning of 
my life," observed Fridolin. " Hand it here. Fer- 
dinand is watching me with eager expectation in 
his eyes. You are not a philosopher yet, my son. 
— But beautifully clean, exquisitely combed, a 
truly pleasing object. — Here, — here is the re- 
ceipt. Shall I be partial, unjust? — No! Take a 
cigar out of that box. He smiles his gratitude. 
Good morning Now for the telegram." 

" From your brother ?" asked Ferdinand. 

"Yes. ' I am here.' The wretch ! the traitor ! 
' Know nothing of OttiHe. Fearfully anxious. 
Cannot understand it' There, you see, he too is 
* fearfully anxious.' Confound the Jelegraph !" 

Ferdinand had read it over his shoulder. ''He 
says, 'send further particulars,' you see." 

"Further particulars, — that means another 


telegram. — And what do we know more than he 
does. Ferdinand, this is chaos come again/' 

*' Well, at any rate," said Ferdinand laughing, 
*' Philosophy is overthrown it would seem." 

" You have got so far already as to laugh at 
mc, have you ? — and wonderfully well it becomes 
him — you are right, I will try to keep my bal- 
ance ; I will telegraph to him again. Bless me, 
but why is he not here instead of at Neustadt, 
what business has this clerical traitor to be at 
Neustadt ? — Yes, I will telegraph to him -r- sit 
down, my dear Ferdinand, and write it for me." 

** I am ready." 

" Further explanations by word of mouth; not 
otherwise. Come here to-day. Europe expects 
it of you. Answer paid." 

** That will bring him, Ferdinand ; he must 
come after that. There is no blessing like the tele- 
graph !" 

'' Hark ! A ring !" 

** A telegram," said the man to whom Aunt 
Ritter opened the door, ** for the Herr Pro- 

*' The box of cigars that I keep for worthy 
persons, will be emptied to-day," cried Fridolin. 
" And from whom is this message ? Here, my 
good man — your receipt and a cigar. Let us see. 


What ? from Rudolf, from Potsdam ? already ? 
It is the most marvellous discovery of the*^ age ! 
' I found Frau Altsch wager at once. She knows 
nothing ; she is now most uneasy. Back by next 
train. Rudolf — Why need the idiot telegraph ? 
Do you call that information? * Most uneasy.' 
And still we know nothing ; three times has it been 
borne in upon us, my dear Ferdinand, that we 
know nothing.'* 

" That everlasting old bell!" grumbled Aunt 
Ritter as she went once more to open the door. 
Fridolin listened, expecting to hear for the fourth 
time, the announcement of a telegram for the 
Herr Professor but it came not. The voices of the 
body-guard became audible, one after another; 
Risotto and the .young savage noisily entered the 

" We picked up the little savage on our way," 
said Risotto, panting for breath, " and came on 
with him. . . ." 

** And we have found •FrivoHn's brother," 
added Franz, equally out of breath. ** He was at 
home. And he had just. . ." 

" Just had a letter from Frivolin," the young 
architect went on with eager haste. 

*' He has had a letter," roared the professor. 
** Of course you have brought it with you ? — His 

200 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

Majesty's post ! that is the highest achievement 
of civilization. — Read it aloud." 

" I will," cried the savage who held it in his 
hand. *'Dear old carrot head, here I am at the 

* Niirnberger Hof ' at Leipzic, in pawn. I have 
spent all my money in a highly interesting way, 
and am stuck here in consequence, my pockets 
being equally void of small change and of the 
handsomer forms of specie. Kindly throw in 
supplies — fifty thalers, let us say — if you happen 
to have them. Your brother, as usual, 

'' Frivolin." 

" Is that all ?" asked Ferdinand. 


" And that is the way people misuse the post!" 
cried Fridolin, indignantly. *'That is not a letter, 
it is a telegram. What is there in it ? Nothing. 

* Send money,' that is all. So he is left without 
money too; meanwhile, where is Ottilie?" 

** The letter tells us his whereabouts, at any 
rate," observed Ferdinand, reddening with sup- 
pressed fury. '* If my sister — if she should not 
be in the same hotel. . ." and he stammered with 
agitation. " At least he can tell us where he left 
her ; where she is now, perhaps. I will go to him. 
Niirnberger Hof; Leipzic." 

''You, my son, you will go?" 


" Yes, why not ? I am her brother." 

" Very true, you are her brother," replied Fri- 
dolin. ** I will go with you — may I go with you ?" 
He glanced at his second telegram to Philip, which 
was lying on the table. '' To be sure, there is my 
brother — Philip, my helpless, useless brother. 
Dare I — ought I, to go ? No : I must wait here 
for his answer, for himself! Oh ! my friends, what 
a day this has been ! — But you are right ; she is 
your sister. Go, my good Ferdinand, my Otti- 
lius, I will follow you ; yes, I will follow you 

'* How soon ?" asked the young man, looking 
at him with frank affection. 

"How soon? — As soon as my wish to see 
you and the possibilities of life coincide like two 
identical triangles ; as soon as fate smiles upon me 
once more. We each have our duties cut out for 
us. You have a sister, I have a brother on my 
hands. Let us do it ! Go, my son, — it is nine 
o'clock. And I will rouse the emulation of these 
young men by telling them what a man you are, 
Ottilius. — Now, do you wish to miss the next 
train ? No ! Then take your overcoat and hat, 
say good-bye prettily, and be off. Farewell." 

" Good-bye," said Ferdinand, smiling with 
simple grace, and he grasped Fridolin's hand. 


Then he put his soft brown felt hat on his curly 
head and threw his overcoat across his shoulder, 
with an air of youthful enterprise. Fridolin 
watched him ; he said nothing : but he took an 
artist's pleasure in- observing his strength and 
grace. It was not till Ferdinand had disappeared 
with a last wave to the professor and his body- 
guard, that he moved to followjiim. Then, from 
the landing, he called after him : '* Ottilius, wait 
one moment ; how you rush away ! I tremble for 
the end — you are vanishing out of my life as you 
came into it ! Were you anything but *an appari- 
tion, a vision, a thought — laugh at me if you 
will, but stop one minute. Your neck-cloth is 
crooked. Allow mc to put it straight. Ottilius ! 
my child, you must do something great, you must 
distinguish yourself; I expect it of you ! I will 
telegraph to you to Leipsic as to what it is that I 
expect of you. Henceforth I have but one object 
in the world; — you are that object. Now, once 
more, let me put your hat straight, for you have 
got it a little too much on one side — and go — 
and do not look back to see whether I am watch- 
ing you over the banisters." 



" Leipsic," shouted the guard, as the train for 
Munich stopped in the station at Leipsic. The 
brake growled and buzzed in its deepest bass, and 
then the train was still. Almost all the passengers 
alighted ; and among them was Leopold. He slung 
the wallet that had been lying on the seat by his 
side over his shoulder, compared his watch with 
the station clock — an operation he never missed 
performing — ; they differed but slightly, the station 
clock asserting that it was a quarter to ten. It was 
a pleasant April morning and the sun had already 
warmed the air. The day promised to be brilliant, 
perhaps hot: ** I should hardly know that I was 
not still in Italy," thought Leopold ; " the trees 
still bare, and the hideous new houses, and the 
natives — above all the natives — show me, how- 
ever, that I have come north. On to Berlin this 
afternoon ! But why to Berlin ? What is there for 
me to do in Berlin ?" and he sighed. **No. To- 
day I will stay in Leipsic ; to-morrow to Beriin. 
I will spend the day here. Not a soul knows me 
here — a charm which Leipsic has in common 


with Peschiera and Verona. — So I will stop 

He went out of the station ; and as he had 
nothinj^ by way of luggage but his umbrella and 
his travclling-bag — which, it is true, was full al- 
most to bursting, he would have nothing to say to 
the porters and loafers who pressed their services 
upon him, but loitered on, towards the town, leav- 
ing it to chance to direct his steps, and being fully 
resolved not to select his quarters by the guidance 
of Baedeker, but by the temptations they might 
offer to his eye and nose, and simply to turn in at 
the inn which most took his fancy. 

'*I remember," said he to himself as he walked 
on, '• that there is a certain ' Niirnberger Hof ' not 
far from this station ; I stopped there once ; so 
that is to be avoided, particularly as I recollect 
that I did not like the place. Right enough ! 
there it stands. We will pass that by on the other 

He walked across the road, but could not help 
gazing up at the front of the house, with a pathetic 
reminiscence of the time when, on the occasion of 
his first wide flight into the world, he had stood at 
one of those upper windows, and looked out on 
the prosaic and crowded masses of buildings, and 
the hideous barrenness of the surrounding coun- 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 205 

try ; but then all was interesting and wonderful, 
for all was new ; the world lay before him with 
everything to win and nothing to lose. " I feel," 
thought he, ** as if I were sixty years older now 
than I was then. — It was that corner window. I 
remember I sat alone that evening, writing a long 
account home, of my travels ; I had a sort of 
eerie feeling. — there was a singing and buzzing in 
my ears — and that was the first time that she ever 
came and stood behind my chair, and looked over 
my paper ; and though she said nothing, I said to 
myself: it is she. — That was the beginning of 
our acquaintance. What a child I was then ! — A 
perfect baby ; — well all that is past and gone. I 
am sixty if I am a day ! — Yes, it was at that win- 
dow, where a lady is looking out at this moment. 
— A young lady — Ottilie ? — A feeling came over 
me at that moment, as though I had seen Ottilie 
again! — I felt so before, at Desenzano — and at 
Verona, in the Piazza delle Erbe ; is there any- 
thing in this world more provoking, more delud- 
ing, than eyes like mine, particularly when there 
is something not quite right with the brain behind 
them. I must wait and see her again to convince 
myself that it is not she — that it is she ! By 
Heaven ! It is she ! — Ottilie ! The shade of her 
face, the color of her hair, the way she holds her 

2o6 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

head ! — Ottilie ! My heart is going Hke mad. If 
only she would look this way. — How pale she is ! 
She will not look this way — nothing will induce 
her. — Is it she ? Yes. Or is my eyesight dazed ? 
But who is that coming up behind her ? What can 
this mean ? A man ? And that man is — oh ! 
Am I going mad ? Or is this second sight? — 
She is speaking to him — she is refusing him 
something. . ." 

'' Where do you wish to go ?" asked the por- 
ter, as Leopold rushed into the ' Niirnberger-Hof,' 
and straight up the stairs. Leopold muttered 
something that no human ear could have made 
sense of, and flew up, three steps at a time, out of. 
the porter's ken. 

It was on the second floor ; that he remem- 
bered. It must be that door in a corner of the 
passage, that he felt instinctively, and he paused 
in front of it. Should he knock ? or should he 
simply walk in ? — He heard voices within ; a 
man's and a woman's. The man was whispering, 
and so at first was she ; but presently she spoke 
louder and he recognized her voice. 

**You have heard what I say," she was 
saying. " Good Heavens ! Have you not 
heard ?" 

" Shall I wait any longer ?" thought Leopold, 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 207 

But even while he was thinking he had turned the 
handle of the door. 

Yes, he had been right. It was Frivolin. 
Frivolin, his eyes sparkling, his face crimson — 
and at this instant on his knees before Ottilic 

'* You are insolent, sir, audacious,*' said the 
young girl, as she drew back from him, her very 
temples dyed with blushes. ** Go, leave me. . ." 
she broke off, perceiving that some one was stand- 
ing at the door, and turned very pale. Leopold, 
without speaking a word, went up to FrivoHn who 
stood up, and clutched his arm. 

" You — you. . .'* he began, quite beside him- 
self He was so completely out of breath, his 
heart was beating so violently, and he felt so furi- 
ous, and so miserable that he could not find an- 
other word. He felt only from the state of his 
own mind that something must happen ; and to 
begin with, half fearing that the object of his in- 
dignation might vanish into thin air or sink 
through the floor, he seized Frivolin by the breast 
of his coat. 

** Leopold ! . . ." shrieked Frivolin, and OttiHe 
gave a little cry of surprise ; but of joy at the 
same time and Leopold thrilled at the sound. But 
the next instant she came forward, laid her hand 


on the arm that held Frivolin, and hurriediy tried 
to release him. 

** Pray, pray. . . !" she said with a steady voice : 
** No personalities or violence. I am greatly obliged 
to you, but I can settle with this gentleman my- 
self. I have told him what he is ; and now have 
only to request him to go — and never to enter 
this room again ; — then it will be all right. You 
hear what I say, sir, and you have only to go." 

*' I will go,'* said Frivolin making a really 
heroic effort to preserve his dignity. " With re- 
gard to this gentleman. . ." he forgot in his di- 
lemma that Leopold was an old friend, a chum of 
his own — ** he has only to explain his wishes ; I 
am very much at his service when and where he 

" Insol. . ." but Ottilie interrupted him before 
the word was out of his mouth, laying her finger 
on her lips with a most bewitching gesture of 

** Say nothing, if you would oblige me," she 
said. " I am here in my own room, and I can de- 
fend myself There is no reason whatever why 
you gentlemen should talk big to each other ; I 
am the only offended person, and I have settled 
the matter with the offender. Herr — Herr Leo- 
pold," she could only recall his Christian name : 


" May I ask you to come more this way — a little 
nearer to me ; be so good as to stand there ; this 
gentleman can find his way out, without your as- 

** You are most kind I am sure !" said Frivolin, 
with forced irony, and a very dignified demeanor, 
as he flattered himself — but, as a matter of fact, 
he positively stuttered with angry confusion. "You 
treat the matter just as you — as I — in short, as you 
treat it. I . . . Fraulein Ottilie. . . Good morning !" 

He drew himself to his utmost height and re- 
tired with the air of not choosing to trouble him- 
self any further about so insignificant an episode 
in his life ; he thus reached the door-post, but un- 
luckily missed the door ; it was not till he came 
into sharp contact with the wall that he realized that 
he should have steered rather more to the right — 
and he steered to the right accordingly. He stood 
in the door- way ; his way was clear ; everything 
lay behind him ; to be sure, so did his hat. He 
suddenly became conscious that he had forgotteti 
his hat ; painfully conscious. — Should he fetch it ? 
No. Send for it? Yes; by and bye. For the 
present exit at any cost — bare-headed, but with 
dignity. — So he stalked out — as he thought — 
strutted out as it appeared to Ottilie, and shut the 
door behind him 



" So, that is well over/' said she trying to 

" And I may not go after him ?" said Leopold, 
whose heart throbbed harder than ever. " You will 
not let me go after him ? Not after that — that — 
man ?'* 

"No," she said; and suddenly conscious of 
being alone with him she blushed scarlet. " I see 
no reason why you should. Is a woman neces- 
sarily such a child, such a helpless baby, that she 
must always find a man to take her part ? — He 
has had his answer and now he may go." 

*' But you ? — How come you to be here ? 
Where are all the others ? Where is Fridolin ?" 
She could not help coloring to-day much oftener 
than was at all convenient. 

" I will tell you all about it. . ." she said with 
an effort. " Just now — Hark ! Judica is moving. 
Hush, pray hush." 

"Where is she ?" 

" In there, close by." 

" Is she in bed ?" Ottilie nodded. " Is she 
ill ?" 

" Poor little thing — yes, of course she is ill. 
If not, should we still be here ? — Hark ! she is 
moving again. Excuse me for one minute ; — or 
come in and see her." 

FRIDOLIN'S mystical marriage. 2X1 

" Yes, I will go with you," he said in a low 
voice. They went into the next room ; it was care- 
fully darkened, and on a huge bed lay little Judica, 
looking like a doll in a child's crib ; she had opened 
her eyes and turned a very red and swollen little 
face to her two visitors. She smiled when she saw 
Leopold. " That is clever !" she exclaimed in the 
quaint, old-fashioned way that we so often observe 
in a sick child, and she held out her hot hands. 
'' At last Aunt Ottilie some one has come to see 
us. Do you know, Leopold, I am ill." 

" So it appears," he replied ; " erysipelas, rose 
rash, — is it not ?" 

" So the doctor says," replied Ottilie. " And 
it looks like it." 

" But why do you keep her in bed ?" 

" When it first appeared yesterday, on our way 
here, the gentleman. . ." the poor girl could not 
help coloring again, and she hesitated — " our es- 
cort was very much alarmed, and insisted on our 
stopping here in Leipsic instead of proceeding to 
Berlin. He brought us to this hotel, and he fetched 
the doctor — an elderly, slow sort of man. . ." 

** One of the old school," interrupted Leo- 

" I do not know of what school ; but when 
Herr — Herr Frivolin asked rather urgently wheth- 


212 FRIDOLIN'S mystical MARRIAGE. 

er the child had not better stay here for a night, 
or even remain till she was well again, the doctor 
said she positively must. He shook his head and 
frightened me out of my wits. He sent the child 
to bed at once ; and ordered that she should have 
a warm dry handkerchief over her face — and you 
have fidgeted it off, you bad little patient.*' 

** Oh, it made me so hot,'* said the little girL 
** Must I be made so hot, Leopold ?" 

Leopold gently passed his hand over her face. 
Then he turned to Ottilie with the perfect presence 
of mind that he had at once recovered by the side 
of the child's sick-bed. 

"Fraulein Ottilie," he said, " I am still young; 
I am still no more than a student ; I am not a 
physician. At the same time I am quite sure that 
I understand this case better than your old gen- 
tleman." He spoke with quiet certainty. " His 
method of treating erysipelas can never be the 
right one. Have you enough confidence in my 
beardless face to allow me to take the case in hand 
on my own method ?" 

Ottilie looked him in the face. She could not 
help wondering at the total disappearance of all 
tension or embarrassment from the situation — 
they now seemed impossible. His grave grey eyes, 
his high forehead, made him look so much older — 


and his frank smile made him look so much 
younger than he really was. " Certainly," she said 
at once, without stopping to consider. " Confi- 
dence ? certainly." 

" Then you authorize me to treat Judica as I 
think proper." 

'* I really do not know why I should feel such 
confidence in you," said she laughing. *' But I do. 
What do you advise ?". 

" A cooling lead lotion," he said briefly. " No 
flannel ; no dry heat. She is very slightly fever- 
ish, " — he had meanwhile felt her pulse, and now 
produced a thermometer out of his pocket — 
" nothing to signify. But it must strike you as very 
odd that I should speak with such confidence. I. . . 
I thought you were smiling : — No ? You were not 
smiling! When I have read the thermometer, I 
will try to persuade our little patient to try to get 
up like other people, and I will procure the lotion." 

" No, no, I will attend to that," said Ottilie 
promptly, and she rang the bell and sent the order 
to the chemist's. 

Judica got up. She had gazed at her new 
doctor all this time in much amazement. As soon 
as she was dressed she went to the looking-glass, 
discovering her altered appearance with the great- 
est astonishment. 

214 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

" I say," she began : " How came you to find 
us here ? Did FrivoHn telegraph to you ?" 

** No," answered Leopold, and he looked at 

" He said he would telegraph, last even- 
ing," murmured Ottilie. ** Whether he really 

**Most probably he did not," muttered Leo- 
pold. " I have not come/rom Berlin, my child,'^ 
he added aloud, ** I was on my way from Italy. 
And you — why have you come away from Lake 
Garda ? How is it that I find you here in Leip- 
sic ?" 

*' Oh ! do not you know ?" cried the child. 
" Papa and Uncle Fridolin were both obliged to 
leave quite suddenly ; — on family business," added 
she with an air of importance, " and about his mys- 
tical carriage. And then, only think we had no 
money; and then Frivolin came, and was very 
much astonished, but he paid the bill ; — but I 
cannot bear him. All the way he talked only to 
Aunt Ottilie ; he never spoke to me at all ; and he 
wanted to stop at every place we came to ; and 
when at last I was ill, he was almost glad ; and we 
were forced to stop here because it was serious he 
said, and my state was cricketal, — so here we are 


Leopold muttered something between his teeth 
which was, however, inaudible. 

" Do not talk too much, my child,*' said he ; 
** be a quiet and reasonable little patient. The 
thermometer marks thirty-eight." 

** Is that much ?" 

"It is more than enough; and you shall have 
the honor of lying down on this sofa. — So. — I 
will cover you up. The lotion is come ; that is well. 
There, is not that nice and cool ? I will wet the 
handkerchief as often as you like. Lead lotion and 
patience, that is all that is necessary.'' 

'* I will have patience, Leopold," said the child 
sweetly, " I really will. You are so kind and so 

** Good-bye for the present," said Leopold ; 
and he went into the next room, following Ottilie 
who had silently made her escape from hearing 
Judica's confidences to Leopold. 

" Fraulein Ottilie," he began in a low voice and 
standing before her, " allow me a word with you. 
I will make no allusion to — to what is past. But 
one question — allow me to ask you one ques- 

«< Yes — proceed," she whispered. 

*' The child said something about a mystical 
carriage. What can she have picked up ? — It is 


most mysterious. — And what — what do you 
know about it ?'* 

" I had the same question on the tip of my 
tongue," she replied. " I was just going to ask 
you the very same thing. Though I am not sure 
that I should dare to ask it. — Do not fix your 
eyes on me in that way ; I am scarlet, I know. — 
But in — in a letter — I came across the words 
* mystical marriage ' — and I could not imagine 
what it meant" 

" I may assume," replied Leopold, looking 
keenly in her face, " I will assume that it was the 
writer of that letter who set out so unexpectedly 
on account of that mystical marriage ?" 

" You may assume it." 

" And I am to solve the riddle ?" 

" If you can ; I entreat you to do so." 

" Fraulein Ottilie — every man. — But the lo- 
tion ! — Excuse me a minute. — Here it is, my good 
little patient, fresh and cool. Now try to think of 
something pleasant, my little Judica, and keep as 
quiet as you can. — She is very good and quiet, — 
she seems sleepy." 

" She did not sleep much in the night," re- 
marked Ottilie. 

" Well, to proceed," Leopold went on, in the 
lowest tones he could command, " But I cannot 


bear to see you standing ; I cannot talk if you do 
not sit down. Here is a chair. — Every man is, 
as a whole, made up of two halves — two very dis- 
tinct halves : One masculine and one feminine. 
Well and they are married to each other — that is 
his mystical marriage." 

Ottilie sat looking at him, and for some time 
did not speak. Then she nodded her head several 
times, but very slightly, almost imperceptibly. 

" You understand me ?'* 

** Yes, I understand you ?" she answered 

" And you are not — not startled, not shocked.*' 
She colored, but she smiled. " I wanted to get at 
the truth," she murmured. 

" You do not think the worse of me for the 
explanation ?" 

" Certainly not ?" 

" This mystical marriage, is, you see, a psycho- 
logical phenomenon, neither more nor less ; of the 
same order of ideas as my mystical betrothal. — 
The lotion ! — Excuse me a minute — coming, my 
little Judica. No, she is asleep. I wonder whether 
it would wake her if I changed the handkerchief. 
— No ; blessed sleep of childhood ! — We have 
the best of coadjutors," he said in his low soothing 


bass, as he returned to Ottilie. " Morpheus is 
guarding her." 

Ottilie looked at him in silent gratitude ; still, 
her breath came fast and her heart beat quickly ; 
her brain was in a whirl. 

" But I have one more question to ask you,'^ 
she murmured, and she sat down again and glanced 
up at his face. " Your mystical betrothal — what 
sort of psychological phenomenon do you under- 
stand by that? — A woman's curiosity, you will 
think no doubt." 

" Nay, do not say so. — What is there that I 
would tell you ? — I would tell you anything. — 
My mystical betrothal ? — I am, I believe, a cool, 
sober-minded and unimaginative man, Fraulein 
Ottilie ; but that makes no difference. Nature has 
her way with us all — imaginings and vagaries of 
her own. Now, in me, nature seeks to supply a 
complementary half, since in me the feminine half 
is wanting. The consequence is that the other — 
the manly half — yearns for it, dreams of it. Yes, 
in moments of solitude, he dreams of her. — And 
then she comes. I feel that she is there ; I see 
her, — I hear her, — we love each other. I feel, 
on the one hand, my incomplete self, and on the 
other, its complementary other half Its bride, 
in short. That is my mystical betrothal ; — you 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 219 

understand that ? No, you do not under- 

'' What should prevent my understanding it ?'* 
said she, without looking at him. 

" Well, it was a settled thing," he went on. He 
tried to smile. " I believed in her. I thought : If 
I ever meet with her we shall know each other at 
once ; we shall simply complete each other ; — 
and that I shall find her is certain. — Then came 
that evening — laugh at me if you like — it mat- 
ters not. — ^That evening in Berlin when I first saw 
you. I could have sworn that you were she ; nay 
I told you so, did I not ? And you thought me 
an utter fool ; — very naturally. Indeed, not you 
alone, I thought myself a fool. Then you left. 
My other self, within myself, would insist that you 
were she : it is she, — it is she. I set out to follow 
you ; I — well, and then it all came out. — You 
know all I have to tell you now, Fraulein Ottilie, — 
so now let us talk of — the weather." 

He rose and took a turn or two in the room 
without looking at her ; then he went to the win- 
dow. Ottilie did not move; she sat quite still 
without speaking. At last he came away from 
the window and went into the next room where 
the little girl was still asleep. He came back again, 
and still Ottilie had not stirred from the spot. 


"She is sleeping cleverly," he said quietly. 
^'But we still have some business to settle, Frau- 
lein Ottilie. Ought not I to telegraph to — to the 
professor, to tell him where you and Judica are." 

" But where to ?" asked she. " I do not know 
where he is." 

" Well, to Berlin on the chance ; to his own 
house. Do not you think so ?" 

" To be sure. Do whatever you think right — 
it is sure to be right." 

** Then I have only the one more request to 
make : and that is that you should go out for a 
walk, out into the fresh air. You are looking 
knocked up. — I speak as your medical adviser," 
he added, with a smile that he meant to be en- 
couraging, but which was a rather solemn failure. 

"Thank you," she said warmly. "But rest 
would do me more good I believe. All last night 
I — I slept badly. — Leave me to rest a little 

" Then you must lie down, and shut your 
eyes ; really rest. Here on this couch. . ." 

'' And Judica ?" 

" Am I not here ? I will divide myself be- 
tween you, and watch alternately over the red, 
red rose in the next room, and the white lily in 
this. Forgive me ; it is a feeble joke, unworthy 


of the occasion, and I am ashamed of myself. 
The head it would seem is always weak when — '*' 
the heart, he was going to say, but he checked 
himself. He stood quite calmly before her and 
went on without flinching : 

"There is one thing more that I ought to 

" And what is that ?" 

" Frivolin, as it would seem, spent — paid 
some money for you at Riva, and afterwards too^ 
of course. I have plenty, — enough. Would you 
not rather that I should be your creditor, Fraulein 
Ottilie ? You have only to tell me what he laid 
out for you ; I will write him a note and send him 
the amount — and his hat, which he left here — 
by the waiter to his room." 

" You are most kind," she said, half glad and 
half horrified. " It was a burden on my soul — 
but there is the account to make up." 

" Have you no bills ?" 

*' Oh. Yes ! Bills, and an account of every- 
thing. But I must add it up . . ." and she laughed 
a Httle helplessly, "at this minute my head is 
quite incapable of an addition sum. I am much 
too tired and stupid." 

" If you would trust me to do it for you ? I 


have forgotten my fractions, I am afraid, biit 
simple addition and division I am still equal to. 
Let me see you lie down to sleep ; remember that 
for to-day I am prescribing for you. Will you 
take it in that light, Fraulein Ottilie ?" 

"Yes,** she murmured; and she put her little 
note-book into his hand and submissively lay 
down on the sofa. She bestowed on him one 
weary and grateful look and then she closed her 
eyes. Was it sleep that she longed for, or to be 
alone with her own thoughts? — Who can tell. 
After two or three attempts to arrange herself 
comfortably, she lay quite still, as if she were 
really asleep. Leopold looked at her for a while ; 
then he stole on tip-toe to see Judica and moist- 
ened the handkerchief He took off his boots, 
and out of his bag he took a pair of soft slippers, 
which he put on with much satisfaction. He did 
the sum, wrote his note to Frivolin, and the tele- 
gram, and noiselessly left the room with them — 
and with Frivolin's hat. 

When he came back he sat down to keep 
watch. What was he thinking of? Who knows. 
About every ten minutes he rose and went, quite 
without a sound, to inspect Judica ; but, strangely 
enough, he always came back into the other room. 
At last it struck him that he must have done this 


at least twenty or thirty times ; and besides the 
silence around him, he became conscious of cry- 
ing hunger within him. Still, there he sat, heroi- 
cally immovable. He studied pathologically all 
the phenomena of feeling that hunger gave rise 
to; the reaction of the empty stomach on the 
starved brain ; the highly-interesting process of 
collapse, the hypersensitiveness of the superficial 
nerves of the cranium — resulting in short, in a 

*' One man's sleep cannot satisfy another 
man's hunger,'.' thought he. "That is a fact that 
needed no demonstration. My stomach is posi- 
tively wriggling for food. — How still she is ! — 
How sweet she looks ! She is she ; — why do I 
try to convince myself that she is not. It is of no 
use ; for she is sher 

" Leopold !" was suddenly heard in Judica's 
voice, which had recovered its cock-like crow. — 
Ottilie woke with a start, and sat up. 

'* What is that — what is the matter ?" she 
exclaimed, still half-asleep. 

" Nothing, but that the child is awake," an- 
swered Leopold going into Judica's room. Otti- 
lie got up and followed him. The little girl was 
lying quite contentedly on the sofa, holding the 
handkerchief to her face that it might not fall off; 


but her eyes were wide-awake and bright, and she 
welcomed Leopold with a merry nod. 

" I say, Leopold," said she, " I think I have 
been to sleep." 

" And I know it," he replied, stroking her 
head gently. 

" Do that again ; oh ! it is so comfortable. I 
was dreaming just before I woke. A man came 
in with a nasty little red moustache like Frivolin's, 
and he looked at me very crossly, and told me 
I was at eighty-eight degrees, and had a mystical 
carriage ; and then I woke up." Ottilie laughed ; 
Leopold only nodded as though the child had 
said something very grave and shrewd ; then he 
took off the hot dry handkerchief and wetted it 

"The rose is beginning to fade," said he. "We 
shall soon see our own little Judica again ; a little 
more patience, that is all." 

The little girl looked wistfully into his face ; 
then she suddenly seized his right hand, which 
hung by his side, and kissed it. 

" What are you thinking of," he exclaimed. 

" Oh ! you are so kind." 

Ottilie, who was standing behind the young 
man, murmured something, but too low for him 
to catch what it was. 


" And Aunt Ottilie is kind too/' added Judica. 

"That I dare swear to," exclaimed Leopold. 

** No, you must not swear ; no one should ever 
swear. I say, Leopold — " 

" Well, my child, what is it ?" 

"My child, do you say? — but I will be your 
child; I am your child now, — " and she laughed 
happily. "You and Aunt Ottilie shall be my 
papa and mamma.'* 

"You think so? — '* 

" Yes, really and truly. — But Leopold, why 
have you no real Httle girls — of your own I 
mean ?" 

" Well, I am not married.'* 

" But why do you not get married ?" Judica 
looked very puzzled that Leopold did not answer; 
he only once more stroked her hair. Nor did 
Ottilie make any remark. She did not even stir, 
the only thing she did was to fix her eyes on a 
mirror that happened to stand close to her ; but 
she did not gaze at her own image but at that of 
Leopold. . . . 

The sound of a bell broke the silence that had 
fallen on the party. It was the hotel bell, calling 
the guests to dinner. "Aha!" crowed Judica, 
sitting up. 

" Had we not better have something to eat 



too ?'* asked Leopold, relieving his feeling by a 
deep sigh. 

Ottilie nodded assent. " We will have dinner 
up here, if you do not mind," she said. "That 
is to say — I take it for granted, you see, that 
you purpose remaining with us." 

"How could I think of leaving you, till I 
have seen you safe at home ?" he said simply. 

"At home! — " she echoed in a low voice. 
"At home ? Where I wonder ?" she added to her- 
self. However, she controlled herself, and went 
into the next room. 

" I will ring," she said, " and order dinner; do 
not disturb yourself." 

" Leopold," whispered the child, as Ottilie 
quitted them, and she looked up in the young 
man's pale face, " Aunt Ottilie never gives you a 
kiss. — Will you let me kiss you? — " and she 
innocently put up her face. He smiled rather 
ruefully ; but he raised her in his arms and kissed 
her baby mouth. 



The last rays of the setting sun were shining 
into the room ; Ottilie was standing at the win- 
dow — and the view must have had some extra- 
ordinary charm for her, for she had been gazing 
at it for a considerable time. Leopold was sitting 
on the sofa, apparently absorbed in reading a 
newspaper, over which he could look at her. 
There was a knock at the door, and he went to 
open it. The waiter was standing outside with a 
letter in his hand. 

*'\Vho is it for?'* asked Leopold. 

" Ah ! that is just what we do not know,'* said 
the man with a shrug and a significant smile. 
*' It is addressed to Ottilius Ritter, Niirnberger 
Hof, Leipzic. As Fraulein Ritter is here — Frau- 
lein Ottilie Ritter, as she wrote it in the visitors' 
book — that seems to fit." 

'' Evidently ; give it to me." 

"But it is not written Fraulein — nothing of 
the kind ; and it is not written Ottilie, but OttiHus. 
So you see that does not fit." 



"But if it should turn out not to be for 
Fraulein — '* 

" Excuse me, but you see this Ottilius may 
have been a slip of the pen ; an accident; perhaps 
it ought to be Ottilie — then it would be right — ** 

" Certainly, and there can be no doubt — " 

'* Excuse me ; but there is a doubt For 
when you write to a lady, you address ' to Frau- 
lein' — do you not? And if you are not writing 
to a lady — " 

" You write Herrn : and here there is neither 
one nor the other; that too is a slip of the pen." 

" It certainly looks like it," said the argumen- 
tative waiter ; ** and as we have no other Ottilius 
Ritter in the house, except the lady here — " 

** Well then, give it me and have done with it 
Good evening ! — " 

Leopold took the letter and went up to Ottilie, 
who was still standing at the window — spell- 
bound by the view. Then, as he took the letter 
to the light, he recognized the writing — Fridolin's 
minute hand ! A cold shiver ran through the 
hand that held it ; even over his face. But the 
sensation vanished as swiftly as it had come. 

" A letter for you," he said in his usual voice. 
Ottilie also recognized the writing. " What will 
she do now?" thought Leopold. — She shut her 


eyes for a second, as she saw the familiar callig- 
raphy, and pursed up her lips ; then she looked 
attentively at the document, but she was evi- 
dently thinking of something else. 

" Herr Leopold," she said at last, " come here. 
Read this letter with me if you please." 

" The letter ! Read it with you ?" 

"Yes, I particularly beg you to do so. We 
will both read it together; — if you do not 
mind. I will hold it so, up to the light ; can you 
see ?" 

" Oh ! yes, I can see quite well," he murmured. 
He was so agitated that he could scarcely speak* 
They did not look at each other; he stck>d behind 
her and read over her shoulder. 

" My dear Ottilius." She looked round into 
his face ; '' it is not for me," she said bewildered. 

" But let us read a little further. . ." 

" It is commonly considered a very unpracti- 
cal proceeding — but it is in reality extremely 
practical — to write to any one immediately before^ 
or immediately after meeting him face to face. 
Until fate restores you, her loan, to me, once 
more; — observe the careful punctuation:" 

Ottilie smiled. ** It is not meant for me/' she 



" But it is an enigma which we must know the 
end of; must we not?" 

She made no reply ; but she could not resist 
reading on. ** I have sat down to write to you. 
To-day is the first warm day we have had in Ger- 
many ; some fools call it hot. What was I going 
to say to you ? — The sight of the brush you used 
here reminds me. It was this ; — Ottilius, when 
you were brushing your hair with that brush, — 
about two hours ago — you told me that the great 
desire of your life was to devote yourself entirely 
to the study of art, if you should find that you 
had the talent for it. Your talent ! I will trust you 
for that and more, Ottilius. I expect great things 
of you. Nay, I demand great things of you. 
Great things, and beautiful things — fate has given 
you to me in the place of Leopold, the faithless- 
one, who has deserted art to submit henceforth to 
be led by the nose by nature, that arch-co- 
quette. . .'* Leopold made a bow. "Yes, Ot- 
tilius, you shall march under our standard, you 
shall adopt my vocation, shall carry on my worlc^ 
and reap the fruits of my inheritance ; you are my 
second self That was why, as you went down- 
stairs, I called you my child ; once more I find I 
have something in the world to live for : — ^you are 
that something. Since fate bestowed you on me — 


lent you to me, I should say ; though I hope you 
may remain mine — since then, Ottilius, I have 
been a prouder man — and a more determined old 
bachelor than ever. I have not yet told you, and 
yet why should I not ? — that I was in love with 
your sister. - It was a presentiment of my friend- 
ship for you ; nothing more, believe me, Ot- 
tilius. . .** 

When Leopold had reached this point he could 
keep still no longer ; he stepped a little distance 
on one side so as to catch a glimpse, at least, of 
Ottilie's face. Had she read as far as that ? — 
Yes. Evidently, she had. She smiled ; and — 
as it would seem — without any bitterness. She 
nodded and smiled to herself. Then she answered 
Leopold's enquiring gaze : " Now I understand it 
all," she said, almost in a tone of amusement. 
''This letter is to Ferdinand, to my brother; he 
calls him Ottilius. This is the solution of the rid- 
dle. — Oh dear ! what an absurd business !...** 

" And shall we not read this epistle through 
to the end ?" said Leopold anxiously. " Fraulein 
Ottilie, what can it matter now ?" She made no 
answer, but she read on. 

" It was a presentiment of my friendship for 
you ; and in you I have you both ; — only remain 
my friend and the world can give me no more. 

232 fridolin's mystical marriage. 

" You wish, you say, — to study art I, you 
say, am to be your master. Well, will you live in 
my house ? Unless my brother returns to live 
with me, half the house is at your disposal. The 
brown room shall be yours. We can be quite in- 
dependent, and the parrot room shall be neutral 
ground on which we can always meet At the 
same time you will never be obliged to enter it ; 
there is a separate entrance to your room. Thus, 
we might each die under the same roof, in per- 
fect independence, without the other knowing any- 
thing about it Find me any other house in Ber- 
lin or the neighborhood, where you could do that 
with half as much comfort 

"•However, do just as you like about this. 
Only come back, and you will see. Command, 
and I obey. Anything for you, Ottilius. 

" As soon as I hear from my clerical brother 
at Neustadt . . 

** P. S. Later ; here I was interrupted ; for an 
hour or more. . . 

" P. S. Later still. Interrupted again ; it is now 
half-past eleven. My brother Philip is coming. 
At this instant a telegram from Leipsic ; from 
Leopold. Tis well ; as soon as Philip arrives we 
are off on the next train but one to join you. We 
shall meet again . . . The sky has not fallen, the 


world is not yet come to an end. This letter is 
only my advance gqard ; happier than I, for it will 
see you first. 

" Yours with open arms, 


They had both read this effusion to the end, 
and both remained silent. 

** What can I say ?" thought Leopold. 

At last he began : "Do you understand, Frau- 
lein Ottilie, how this came to be sent here ? 
Do you see your way in the matter any more than 
I do ?'* She shook her head. 

" Aunt Ottilie," called Judica softly from the 
next room. Ottilie went to her. Leopold stayed 
where he was. The extraordinary charms of the 
prospect seemed to captivate him too ; for he went 
to the window and stared out ; but what he saw 
he neither knew nor cared. A vehement conver- 
sation that was being carried on in the corridor 
presently attracted his attention ; he could distin- 
guish the voice of the argumentative waiter, alter- 
nating with that of a younger and more energetic 
speaker. Suddenly the door was thrown open : — 
'* It seemed to agree in every respect," said the 
waiter, evidently on the defensive. " You are an 
utter. . .*' began the other and younger voice ; but 


he swallowed down the abusive ending, and came^ 
not very gently, straight into the room. 

"Sir!" he exclaimed, as soon as he saw Leo- 
pold, " I never, never in all my life, heard of such 
a proceeding." 

" And may I ask what, — " 

*' What ? your whole conduct, sir, from begin- 
ning to end. You — you — " he had to take 
breath. — '* You force yourself on my sister as her 
travelling-companion ; you drag her half round 
the world, instead of bringing her home ; you 
take a mean advantage of her position — " here 
he again gasped for breath — "and at last, to 
crown all, you take possession of a letter addressed 
to me." 

*' Ah ! then you are Fraulein Ottilie's brother?" 

" Her brother ? yes, sir, her brother, as you 
see ! and I take the liberty, sir, of telling you that 
a gentleman. . . " 

"Ferdinand!" cried Ottilie, who came from 
the other room with Judica at her heels : " My- 
dear brother, how came you here ?" 

" I am not too late I trust," with the air of a 
man who has no time to spare in greetings or 
amenities of speech, and he glared at Leopold. 
"I unfortunately got out at Bitterfeld, and then — " 


and he spoke with intense bitterness — " I got 
into the wrong train by niistake, and found myself 
at Halle. From thence I came on here: — arriving 
at six instead of at one. — Now, sir, I make no 
ceremony with you : — Give me the stolen letter." 

''Sir!" said Leopold: ''What, — who do you 
take me for ? — " 

" You — you are Frivolin — or whatever you 
call yourself — Give me my letter." 

" Good heavens !" cried Ottilie: "Do you take 
this gentleman for Herr Frivolin ! This gentle- 
man, — my excellent friend — my best friend. 
What a mistake ! Nay, give him your hand, and 
here is your letter; — forgive me, I have read it; 
I will tell you presently why I did so. Take it and 
smoothe out your noble brow and give me a kiss; 
and now sit down and read it." 

"My letter, — and you opened it?" However, 
the young man could not keep up this lofty tone; 
he caught sight of the first words: "My dear 
Ottilius" and he could not help laughing with 
pride and amusement ; he went closer to the win- 
dow and read it. 

"From Fridolin," he murmured; and then 
only his lips moved as he went on. He soon was 
so absorbed in deciphering his epistle that he 
quite forgot where he was. He failed to observe 


that Ottilie and Leopold had disappeared into 
the other room, though little Judica still stood 
gazing at him with astonished eyes ; he listened 
neither to Leopold's subdued bass, nor to his 
sister's whispers. . . . 

"Herr Leopold." 

"Yes, mein Fraulein." 

** Do not speak to me so formally ; it sounds 
so distant, so cold, so unnatural. I — I do not like 
it. What an extraordinary day this has been;— 
and what wonderful discoveries we have made, 
and confessions; — and do you still think that I am 

" God help me, Fraulein Ottilie ; — but I 
cannot persuade myself that you are not !" 

** Really !" she said in some confusion. " And 
you have sacrificed your feelings to me all to-day, 
and shall I do nothing in return ? — Your belief is 
infectious, Herr Leopold. How is that, I wonder ? 
I really begin to believe myself that I must be 
she, — and that you are . . . leave go of my hand." 


" I began to think so at Riva . . . why should 
pride keep me from telling you so now ? After 
your pathetic letter ; and a certain conscious feel- 
ing came over me. . . . Oh ! what are you about ? 


Do you think that I shall run away from you after 
telling you this " — for she felt an arm round her 
waist ; but the smile that had stolen over her face 
died away. 

"Ottilie, night and day I have firmly believed 
that you were she; but now that you say so 
yourself it seems impossible, incredible !" How- 
ever, he seemed to believe it after all; for he 
clasped her in his arms and held her in a close 
embrace, as though it was his body and soul that 
had been sundered and had at last found each 
other, so that by some law of nature they might 
never part again. 

Meanwhile there was a slamming of doors, a 
bustle of feet, and a confusion of voices just out- 
side, in the passage. . . 

" Aha ! and whom have we here ?" was the first 
thing he heard when he discovered his work-a-day 
wits. Ottilie started away from his side. In the 
door- way stood Fridolin with little Judica pushing 
her head in under his arm ; by him was Ferdinand, 
and behind them a tall, long-haired, narrow-shoul- 
dered figure. Ottilie could not help herself; she 
was forced to blush once more. 

'' Did I not tell you so as we were coming 
along ?'* Fridolin went on. " Did I not tell you 


that this quiet-mannered man — ^this naturalist . . ? 
Say nothing, dear Leopold, I beg. Do not insult 
my perspicacity by explaining, the moment I ar- 
rive, the historical development of events. The 
time I spent in the mail-train that brought me 
here — three hours and five-and-twenty minutes- 
has given me experience in rapid induction. — 
Thank God ! that you are here Fraulein Ottilie, 
safe and sound — alive and well — and happy. 
Now, can you forgive me and my clerical brother 
for the disasters of Riva ? Will you give us each 
the right hand of friendship in spite of all our 
blunders ?" She held out her hand and tried to 
speak, not without emotion; but Pastor Philip, 
whose mixed feelings of self-pity and self-sacrifice, 
could find no adequate expression in silence, took 
up the parable. '* My dear young lady,*' he began, 
and as he spoke he sawed the air gently with his 
hat, " we are but short-sighted mortals ; rarely 
has it been given to me to feel as I do to-day. 
That day, when I left my hat in your room — it 
was of no consequence ; I did not need it in any 
hurry — how little I guessed how and when and 
where this would all end. It might have been :" 
and his voice broke almost into a sob, " . . . o . . . 
other — otherwise." He recovered himself and 
went on. " It was not otherwise. God's will be 

fridolin's mystical marriage. 239 

done ! — I believe, my dear young lady, that you 
are fully resigned this day to the supreme will to 
which we all must bow ; you will say with me that 
all philosophies, all human reason are vanity, 
and. . ." and here he smiled — " that without re- 
ligion we can never be more than a higher form of 

"Amen!" said Fridolin. " I will neither argue 
nor squabble to-day. Where is Ferdinand ?" — 
He turned to the young man, who was silently 
trying to account to himself for the meaning of 
this scene. " During your absence I have already 
made some little progress. With Aunt Ritter's 
help I have set the brown room in order for you 
to take possession. Child, I felt I must be doing 
something for you, while I could not see you. 
Will you ? . . ." 

'* Will I ?" echoed Ferdinand, with frank en- 
thusiasm. " Fridolin, my master and friend !" 

** I am the happiest man alive," cried Fridolin, 
** and all on my birthday too ! — Why do you 
smile, Leopold, and shake your head ? Will you 
dare to assert that you are happier than I ? — Well, 
well, we will not quarrel about that. But tell me 
one thing," — he went close up to Leopold, and 
looked at him with great solemnity, while he 
asked, in a low voice ; — "Is she she V 


** Yes, FridoHn, she is/' replied the young man 
in the same tone and with equal gravity. 

" Well then, we are of one mind,** said Frido- 
Hn " My good friends,'* he continued, swallow- 
ing down his emotion, " do not let us part; this is 
my birthday ; it is besides a festal occasion ; — let 
us stand in a group ! — There are several things 
which we often meet with on the stage and never 
in real life — to which I, for one, have, however, 
tried to accustom myself in private, so that when 
I see them on the stage they may not strike me 
as so absurdly unnatural. Monologues for instance ; 
I speak — to myself — in order that the actor may 
be able to say that he really mirrors nature. — 
And so let us stand in a group, as dramatic fitness 
demands. A group that shall be emblematical of 
what our lives shall be. Leopold and Ferdinand — 
nature and art. — Philip and I — the heavenly and 
the earthly. But you, Fraulein Ottilie, must be 
the mediating angel between us. And when Leo- 
pold marries — as why should he not — we will 
find him quarters in the same street as our own at 
Berlin. Will that do for you, Leopold ? He thinks 
it will. I will telegraph all this latest intelligence 
to the body-guard. There is still some good-for- 
tune in the world after all. Well, well ; I must 
abide by my mystical marriage." 


" Mystical carriage is what you ought to say, 
uncle," corrected Judica. "But, I say, why does 
Aunt Ottilie go into the corner to give Leopold a 

kiss ?" 


JUL 27 1920 



CIjYTIA, — A Romance of the Sixteenth Century, by 
George Taylor, from the German by Mary J. SafTord^ 
in one vol. Paper, 50 cts. Cloth, 90 cts. 

" If report may be trusted * George Taylor,* though 
writing in German, is an Englishman by race, and not 
merely by the assumption of a pseudonym. The state- 
ment is countenanced by the general physiognomy of 
his novels, which manifest the artistic qualities in which 
German fiction, when extending beyond the limits of a 
short story, is usually deficient. * Antinous * was a re- 
markable book ; * Clytia ' displays the same talent, and 
is, for obvious reasons, much better adapted for general 
circulation. Notwithstanding its classical title, it is a 
romance of the post Lutheran Reformation in the sec- 
ond half of the sixteenth century. The scene is laid 
in the Palatinate ; the hero, Paul Laurenzano, is, like 
John Inglesant, the pupil, but, unlike John Inglesant, 
the proselyte and emissary, of the Jesuits, who send him 
to do mischief in the disguise of a Protestant clergy- 
man. He becomes confessor to a sisterhood of re- 
formed nuns, as yet imperfectly detached from the old 
religion, and forms the purpose of reconverting them. 
During the process, however, he falls in love with one 
of their number, the beautiful Clytia, the original, Mr. 
Taylor will have it, of the lovely bust in whose genuine- 
ness he will not let us believe. Clytia, as is but reason- 
able, is a match for Loyola; the man in Laurenzano 
overpowers the priest, and, after much agitation of 
various kinds, the story concludes with his marriage. It 
is an excellent novel from every point of view, and, like 
* Antinous ' gives evidence of superior culture and 
though tfulness.'* — The London Saturday Review, 

William S, Gottsberger^ Publisher^ New York. 

TRAFALGAR. -A Tale, by B. Perez Galdds, from 
the Spanish by Clara Bell, in one vol. Paper, 50 cents. 
Cloth, 90 cents. 

" This is the third story by Gald6s in this series, and 
it is not inferior to those which have preceded it, 
ahhough it differs from them in many particulars, as 
it does from most European stories with which we are 
acquainted, its interest rather depending upon the action 
with which it deals than upon the actors therein. To 
subordinate men to events is a new practice in art, and if 
Galdos had not succeeded we should have said that 
success therein was impossible. He has succeeded 
doubly, first as a historian, and then as a novelist, for 
while the main interest of his story centres in the 
great sea-fight which it depicts — the greatest in which 
the might of England has figured since her destruction 
of the Grand Armada — there is no lack of interest in 
the characters of his story, who are sharply individual- 
ized, and painted in strong colors. Don Alonso and his 
wife Dofia Francisca — a simple-minded but heroic old 
sea-captain, and a sharp-minded, shrewish lady, with a 
tongue of her own, fairly stand out on the c^nyas. 
Never before have the danger and the doom of battle 
been handled with such force as in this spirited and 
picturesque tale. It is thoroughly characteristic of the 
writer and of his nationality." — TAe Mail and Express^ 
New York. 

William S. Gottsberger^ Publisher^ New l^ork. 

MARIANELA.— By B. Perez 6ald6s9 from the Spanish 
by Clara Bell, in one vol. Paper, 50 cts. Cloth, 90 cts. 

''Galdos is not a novelist, in the sense that now attaches to 
that much-abused word, but a romancer, pure and simple, as 
much so as Hawthorne was, though his intentions are less spir- 
itual, and his methods more material. Marianela is the story 
of a poor, neglected outcast of a girl, an orphan who is tolerated 
by a family of miners, as if she were a dog or a cat ; who is 
fed when the humor takes them and there is any food that can 
be spared, and who is looked down upon by evervbody ; and a 
boy Pablo, who is older than she, the son of a well-to-do landed 
proprietor, whose misfortune it is (the boy's, we mean) that 
ne was born blind. His deprivation of sight is almost supplied 
by the eyes of Marianela, who waits upon him, and goes with 
him in his daily wanderings about the mining country of Socartes, 
until he knows the whole country by heart and can when need 
is find his way everywhere alone. As beautiful as she is homely, 
he forms an ideal of her looks, based upon her devotion to 
him, colored by his sensitive, spiritual nature, and he loves her, 
or what he imagines she is, and she returns his love — ^with fear 
and trembling, for ignorant as she is she knows that she is not 
what he believes her to be. They love as two children might, 
naturally, fervently, entirely. The world contains no woman so 
beautiful as she, and he will marry her. The idyl of this 3ronng 
love is prettily told, with simplicity, freshness, and something 
which, if not poetry, is yet poetic. While the course of true love 
is running smooth with them (for it does sometimes in spite of 
Shakespeare) there appears upon the scene a brother of the chief 
engineer of the Socartes mines who is an oculist, and he, after a 
careful examination of the blind eyes of Pablo, undertakes to per- 
form an operation upon them which he thinks may enable the lad 
to see. About thus time there also comes upon the scene a brother 
of Pablo's father, accompanied by his daugnter, who is very beau- 
tiful. The operation is successful, and Pablo is made to see. He 
is enchanted with the loveliness of his cousin, and disenchanted of 
his ideal of Marianela, who dies heart-broken at the fate which 
she knew would be hers if he was permitted to see her as she was. 
This is the story of Marianela, which would have grown into a 
poetic romance under the creative mind and shaping hand of 
Hawthorne, and which, as conceived and managed by Gald6s, is 
a realistic one of considerable grace and pathos. It possesses the 
charm of directness and simplicity of narrative, is written with 
great picturesqueness, and is colored throughout with impressions 
of Spanish country life." — TAe Mail ana Express, New VprJk, 
Thursday y April 12, 1883. 

William S, Gottsbcrgcr, Publisher, New York, 

GLORIA. — A NOVEL, by B. Perez Gald6s9 from the 

Spanish by Clara Bell, m two vols. Paper, $l.oo, Cloth, $1.75 

" B. Perez Galdos is like a whirlwind, resistless as he sweeps 
everything before him, while beneath, the waters of passion foam 
and heave and are stirred to their depths. Some chapters of this 
novel are absolutely agonizing in their intensity of passion, and 
the surge and rush of words bears the reader along breathless and 
terrified, till he finds himself almost ready to cry out. In others, 
the storm is lulled and the plash of waves is as musical as the 
author's native tongue. In others still, he drones through the 
lazy summer day, and the reader goes to sleep. However, the 
story as a whole is stormy, and the end tragic ; yet we are lost in 
wonder at the man who can so charm us. 

"It is throughout a terrible impeachment of religious intoler- 
ance. If it had been written for a people possessing the temper 
of Englishmen or of Americans we should say that it must mark 
an epoch in the political and religious history of the country. Even 
written as it is by a Spaniard, and for Spaniards, allowing as we 
must for Spanish impulsiveness and grandiloquence, which says a 
great deal to express a very little, we cannot but believe that the 
work is deeply significant. It is written by a young man and one 
who is rapidly rising in power and influence ; and when he speaks 
it is with a vehement earnestness which thrills one with the con- 
viction that Spain is awaking. * Fresh air,' cries he, of Spain, 
* open air, free exercise under every wind that blows above or be- 
low ; freedom to be dragged and buflfeted, helped or hindered, by 
all the forces that are abroad. Let her tear off her mendicant's 
hood, her grave-clothes and winding-sheet, and stand forth in the 
bracing storms of the century. Spain is like a man who is ill from 
sheer apprehension, and cannot stir for blisters, plasters, bandages 
and wraps. Away with all this paraphernalia, and the body will 
recover its tone and vigor.' Again : * Rebel, rebel, your intelli- 
gence is your strength. Rise, assert yourself; purge your eyes of 
the dust which darkens them, and look at truth face to face.' 
Strange language this for Spain of the Inquisition, for bigoted, 
unprogressive. Catholic Spain. The author goes to the root of 
Spanish decadence ; he fearlessly exposes her degradation and de- 
clares its cause. All students of Spanish history will find here 
much that is interesting besides the story." — The Yale Literary 

William S. Gottsbergcr, Publisher, New York, 

PBUSIAS. — A Romance of Ancient Rome under the Republic, 
by Krnst EiCksteiliy from the German by Clara BelL 
Authorized edition. In two vols. Paper, $i.oo. Cloth, $1.75. 

** The date of • Prusias ' is the latter half of the first century 
B. C. Rome is waging her tedious war with Mithridates. There 
are also risings in Spain, and the home army is badly depleted. 
Prusias comes to Capua as a learned Armenian, the tutor of a 
noble pupil in one of the aristocratic households. Each member 
of this circle is distinct. Some of the most splendid traits of 
human nature develop among these grand statesmen and their 
dignified wives, mothers, and daughters. The ideal Roman maiden 
is i*syche ; but she has a trace of Greek blood and of the native 
gentleness. Of a more interesting type is Fannia, who might, 
minus her slaves and stola, pass for a modern and saucy New York 
beauty. Her wit, spirit, selfishness, and impulsive magnanimity 
might easilv have been a nineteenth-century evolution. In the 
family to wnich Prusias comes are two sons, one of military lean- 
ings, the other a student. Into the ear of the latter Prusias whis- 
pers the real purpose of his coming to Italy. He is an Armenian 
and in league with Mithridates for the reduction of Roman rule. 
The unity which the Senate has tried to extend to the freshly-con- 
quered provincei of Italy is a thing of slow growth. Prusias by 
his strategy and helped by Mithridates's gold, hopes to organize 
slaves and disaffected provincials into a force which will oblige 
weakened Rome to mate terms, one of which shall be complete 
emancipation and equality of every man before the law. His har- 
angues are in lofty strain, and, save that he never takes the coarse, 
belligerent tone of our contemporaries, these speeches might have 
been made by one of our own Abolitionists. The one point that 
Prusias never forgets is .personal dignity and a regal consideration 
for his friends. But after all, this son of the gods is befooled by 
a woman, a sinuous and transcendently ambitious Roman belle, 
the second wife of the dull and trustful prefect of Capua; for 
this tiny woman had all men in her net whom she found it useful 
to have there. 

"The daughter of the prefect — hard, homely-featured, and hat- 
ing the supple stepmother with an unspeakable hate, tearing her 
beauty at last like a tigress and so causing her death — is a repul- 
sive but very strong figure. The two brothers who range them- 
selves on opposite sides in the servile war make another unforget- 
table picture; and the beautiful slave Ikenna, who follows her 
noble lover into camp, is a spark of light against the lurid back- 
ground. The servile movement is combined with the bold plans 
of the Thracian Spartacus. He is a good figure and perpetually 
surprises us with his keen foresight and disciplinary power. 

"The book is stirring, realistic in the even German way, and 
full of the fibre and breath of its century." Boston Ev'g Transcript, 

QUIMT^S CLAUDIUS. — A Romance of Imperial Rome, 
by Ernst Kekstein, trom the German by Clara Bell, in 
two vols. Paper, $i.oo. Cloth, $1.75. 

"We owe to Eckstein the brilliant romance of 'Quintas 
Claudius,* which Clara liell has done well to translate for us, for 
it is worthy of place beside the Emperor of Ebers.and the Aspasia 
of Hamerling. It is a story of Rome in the reign of Donutian, 
and the most noted characters of the time figure in its pages, 
which are a series of picturesque descriptions of Roman life and 
manners in the imperial city, and in those luxurious retreats at 
Baiae and elsewhere to which the wealthy Romans used to retreat 
from the heats of summer. It is full of stirring scenes in the 
streets, in the palaces, in the temples, and in the amphitheatre, 
and the actors therein represent every phase of Roman character, 
from the treacherous and cowardly Domitian and the vile Domitia 
down to the secret gatherings of the new sect and their exit from 
life in the blood-soaked sands of the arena, where they were torn 
in pieces by the beasts of the desert. The .life and the manners 
of all classes at this period were never painted with a bolder 
pencil than by Eckstein in this masterly romance, which displays 
as much scholarship as invention." — Mail and Express^ N, K 

** These neat volumes contain a story first published in German. 
It is written in that style which Ebers has cultivated so success- 
fully. The pkce is Rome ; the time, that of Domitian at the end 
of the first century. The very careful study of historical data, is 
evident from the notes at the foot of nearly every page. The 
author attempted the difficult task of presenting in a single story 
the whole life of Rome, the intrigues of that day which compassea 
the overthrow of Domitian, and the deep fervor and terrible trials 
of the Christians in the last of the general persecutions. The 
court, tlie army, the amphitheatre, the catacombs, the evil and 
the good of Roman manhood and womanhood — all are here. 
And the work is done with power and success. It is a book for 
every Chris tirn and for every student, a book of lasting value, 
bringing more than one nation under obligation to its author."— 
New Jems a lent Magazine^ Boston, Mass. 

\^ A new /Romance cf Ancient Times/ The success of Ernst 
Eckstein's new novel, * Quintus Claudius,* which recently ap- 
peared in Vienna, may fairly be called phenomenal, critics and the 
public unite in praising the work." — Grazer Morgenpost, 

** 'Quintus Claudius* is a finished work of art, capable of 
bearing any analysis, a literary production teeming with instruc- 
tion and interest, full of plastic forms, and rich in the most dra- 
matic changes of mood." — Pester Lloyd, 

Willia7n S, Gottsberger^ Publisher^ New York. 


von Hillem, from the German by Clara Bell, in one 
vol, Paper, 40 cts. Cloth, 75 cts. 

" The pathos of this story is of a type too delicate 
to be depressing. The tale is almost a poem, so fine is 
its imagery, so far removed from the commonplace. 
The character of Marie is merely suggested, and yet 
she has a most distinct and penetrating individuality. 
It is a fine piece of work to place, without parade or 
apparent intention, at the feet of this ideal woman, three 
loves so widely different from each other. There is 
clever conception in the impulse that makes Marie turn 
from the selfish, tempestuous love of the Count, and 
the generous, holy passion of Anselmo, to the narrower 
but nearer love of Walther, who had perhaps fewer 
possibihties in his nature than either of the other two. 
The quality of the story is something we can only de- 
scribe by one word — spirituelle. It has in it strong 
suggestions of genius coupled with a rare poetic feel- 
ing, which comes perhaps more frequently from Ger- 
many than from anywhere else. The death of Marie 
and the sculpture of her image by Anselmo, is a passage 
of great power. The tragic end of the book does not 
come with the gloom of an unforeseen calamity; it 
leaves with it merely a feeling of tender sadness, for it 
is only the fulfilment of our daily expectations. It is in 
fact the only end which the tone of the story would 
render fitting or natural." — Godefs Ladfs Book, 

William S. Gottsberger, Publisher, New York, 

ERNESTINE, — A Novel, by Wilhelmine von HiU- 

em, from the German by S. Baring-Gould, in two vols. 
Paper, 80 cts. Cloth, $1.50. 

" * Ernestine' is a work of positive genius. An English critic 
has likened the conception of the heroine in her childhood to 
George Eliot's Maggie Tulliver, and truly there is a certain resem- 
blance ; but there is in the piece a much stronger suggestion of 
George Eliot's calm mastery of the secret springs of human 
action, and George Eliot's gift of laying bare the life of a human 
soul, than of likeness between particular characters or sittlations 
here and those with which we are familiar in George Eliot's 
works." — Ne^v York Evening Post. 

THE HOUR WILL. COME,— A Tale of an Alpine 

Cloister, by Wilhelmine von Hillern, from the Ger- 
man by Clara Bell, in one vol. Paper, 40 cts. Cloth, 75 cts. 

**^Tke Hour Will Come'' is the title of a translation by 
Clara Bell from the German original of Wilhelmine von Hillern, 
author of that beautiful romance * Geier- Wally. ' *The Hour 
Will Come' is hardly less interesting, its plot being one of the 
strongest and most pathetic that could well be imagined. The time 
k the Middle Ages, and Frau von Hillern has achieved a remark- 
able success in reproducing the rudeness, the picturesqueness and 
the sombre coloring of those days. Those who take up *The 
Hour Will Come' will not care to lay it down again until they 
have read it through." — Baltimore Gazette. 

of Ancient Times, by Wilhelmine von Hillern, from 

the German by Mary J. SafTord, in one vol. Paper, 25 cts. 
Cloth, 50 cts. 

** Mary J. Safford translates acceptably a very charming short 
story from the German of Wilhelmine von Hillern. If it was not 
told by the sacristan of Breisach, it deserves to have been. It has 
the full flavor of old German and English love tales, such as have 
been crystallized in the old ballads. The Emperor, the gifted 
boy, his struggles with the stupidity of his townsmen, his ap- 
parently hopeless love above him ; these form the old delight ml 
scene, set in a Diireresque border. There are touches here and 
there which refer to the present. The sixteenth century tale has 
a political moral that will appeal to Germans who believe that 
Alsatia, once German in heart as well as in tongue, ought to be 
held by force to the Fatherland till she forgets her beloved 
France." — N. Y. Times. 

William S. Gottsberger, Publisher, New York. 

FEUCITAS. —A Romance, by Felix Dahn, from the Ger- 
man by Mary J. Safford, in one voL Paper cover, 50 cts. 
Cloth binding, 90 cts. 

**The writer of this story was long ago, the reader is told, 
employed in the archives, libraries, and mnseoms of Roman anti- 
quities at Saltzburg, as a student of the events and incidents, his- 
torical and otherwise, which he has here skillfuUv interwoven with 
romance. It is a tale of invasion, when, far back in the fifth cen- 
tury, the Teutons pressed their way into the provinces of Rome, 
ana, driving her garrison forth, established themselves there; and 
if as touching and delightful to the German as to the American, 
the author has not written in vain. His genius is not of the 
stormy type, but rather of that order which sees infinite grace and 
beauty in a fireside picture, glowing with domestic peace and 
harmony ; and that this is made so evident in the portrayal of a 
warlike scene, demanding highly sustained dramatic action, is all 
the greater proof of his power. To recall the deities of Teutonic 
mythology from their grave-clothes and make them entertaining 
is extremely difficult in a historical novel, where narration also 
must be slightly cumbersome at the best. Yet in this respect 
Dahn is scarcely less successful than his scholarly predecessor. 
Ebers is, perhaps, inimitable for his knowledge of antiquity and 
almost Shakspearean richness of monologue, but the style of 
Dahn is more graceful, and he appeals less to mythology and sa- 
perstition. Stately and antique titles are forgotten in parsaing 
the absorbing motive, so charmingly bodied forth at the outset in 
the inscription on the slab exhumed by the author from the ruins 
of an ancient Alpine villa : 

Hie habitat Felicitas 
Nihil mali intret ! 

" A word of praise is also due the translator for the easy and 
natural rendering of the native language. Even to one not ac- 
quainted with German it cannot but be evident that Miss Safford 
has brought to her task a highly refined literary sense.*' — Yale 
Literary Magazine, 

** * Felicitas,' by Felix Dahn, is one of the latest examples of 
the skill and grace with which these tales are written, it having, 
however, less history and more fiction than is usual with works of 
this class. It is an idylic story of the advent of the Gauls into the 
Roman provinces, with a cleverly constructed plot, well worked 
out, and having the very tangible merit of ending pleasantly." — 
Boston Courier. 

** Dahn's dramatic instinct and power are unquestionable, and 
his presentation of detail accurate." — The Nation, N. Y, 

ASP ASIA, — A Romance, by Robert Hainerliiig, from 
the German by Mary J. Safford, in two vols. Paper, $i.oo. 
Cloth, $1.75. 

** We have read his work conscientiously, and, we confess, with 
profit. Never have we had so clear an insight into the manners, 
thoughts, and feelings of the ancient Greeks. No study .has made 
us so familiar with the age of Pericles. We recognize throughout 
that the author is master of the period of which he treats. More- 
over, looking back upon the work from the end to the beginning, 
we clearly perceive in it a complete unity of purpose not at all 
evident during the reading." 

** Hamerling's Aspasia, herself the most beautiful woman in 
all Hellas, is the apostle of beauty and of joyousness, the im- 
placable enemy of all that is stern and harsh in life. Unfortunately, 
morality is stern, and had no place among Aspasia's doctrines. 
This ugly fact, Landor has thrust as far into the background as 
possible. Hamerling obtrudes it. He does not moralize, he 
neither condemns nor praises ; but like a fate, silent, passionless, 
and resistless, he carries the story along, allows the sunshine for 
a time to silver the turbid stream, the butterflies and gnats to flut- 
ter above it in rainbow tints, and then remorselessly draws over 
the landscape gray twilight. He but follows the course of 
history; yet the absolute pitilessness with which he does it is 
almost terrible." — Extracts from Revinv in Yale Literary 

•' No more beautiful chapter can be found in any book of this 
age than that in which Pericles and Aspasia are described as visit- 
ing the poet Sophocles in the garden on the bank of the Cephis- 
sus." — Utica Momi7tg Herald, 

♦'It is one of the great excellencies of this romance, this lofty 
song of the genius of the Greeks, that it is composed with perfect 
artistic symmetry in the treatment of the diffierent parts, and from 
the first word to the last is thoroughly harmonious in tone and 
coloring. Therefore, in * Aspasia,' we are given a book, which 
could only proceed from the union of an artistic nature and a 
thoughtful mind — a book that does not depict fiery passions in 
dramatic conflict, but with dignified composure, leads the conflict 
therein described to the final catastrophe." — A llgemeine Zeitung. 

William S. Gottsberger, Publisher, New York. 


by Aiitou Oiulio Harrili, frum the Italian by Qara 
Bell, in one vol. Paper, 50 cts. Cloth, 90 cts. 

** If Italian literature includes any more such unique and 
charming stories as this one, it is to be hoped that translators will 
not fail to discover them to the American public. The * Eleventh 
Commandment ' deals with a variety of topics — the social intrigues 
necessary to bring about preferment in political life, a communal 
order, an ndveulurous unconventional heiress, and her acquiescent, 
good-natured uncle, and most cleverly are the various elements 
combined, the whole forming an excellent and diverting little storv. 
The advent of a modern Eve in the masculine paradise (?) estab- 
lished at the Convent of San Bruno is fraught with weighty con- 
sequences, not only to the individual members of the brotherhood, 
but to the well-being of the community itself. The narrative of 
JVl'lle Adela's adventures is blithely told, and the moral deducible 
therefrom for men is that, on occasion, flight is the surest method 
of combating temptation." — Art Interchange, New York, 

"Very entertaining is the story of * The Eleventh Command- 
ment,' ingeniously conceived and very cleverly executed." — The 
Critic, N'ew York. 

A WHIMSICAL WOOING. — By Anton Giulio 

Barrili, from the Italian by Clara Bell, in one vol. Paper, 
25 cts. Cloth, 50 cts. 

**If *The Eleventh Commandment,' the previous work of 
Barrili, was a good three-act play, * A Whimsical Wooing' is a 
sparkling comedietta. It is one situation, a single catastrophe, yet, 
like a bit of impressionist painting of the finer sort, it reveals m a 
flash all the possibilities of the scene. The hero, Roberto Fenoglio, 
a man of wealth, position, and accomplishments, finds himself at 
the end of his resources for entertainment or interest. Hopelessly 
bored, he abandons himself to the drift of chance, and finds him- 
self, in no longer space of time than from midnight to daylight — 
where and how, the reader will thank us for not forestalling his 
pleasure in finding out for himself." — The N^ation^ New York, 

** 'A Whimsical Wooing' is the richly-expressive title under 
which * Clara Bell ' introduces a cleverly-narrated episode by 
Anton Giulio Barrili to American readers. It is a sketch of Italian 
life, at once rich and strong, but nevertheless discreet in sentiment 
and gracefiil in diction. It is the old story of the fallacy of trust- 
ing to a proxy in love matters." — Boston Post. 

William S. Gottsbergery Publiskery New York,